Formerly Felines for Anarchistic Green Democracies

A Bostonian at the University of Michigan.

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Spelling rant
Yankee Star Wars
A Tigers Comedy of Errors
How bad is Keith Foulke really?
Harry Potter and the Boston Red Sox
Bellhorn vs. Graffanino vs. Lamprey
Critiquing team slogans
Joey Harrington blogs a baseball game
Jason Varitek gets injured
Winter meetings fashion report
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8 Days of Jewish Baseball
Day 1- Kevin Youkilis
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Day 3- Al Levine
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Day 8- Gabe Kapler and Theo Epstein

the Story of Chanukah, Red Sox style
Part I: the cruel reign of Steinbrennochus
Part II: rise of the Soxxabees
Part III: the rebellion begins!
Parts IV, V, and VI
Parts VII and VIII

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Friday, December 26, 2003  
Well. It's been a bit, and for this I apologize. But, you know, I've just been so busy doing absolutely nothing that I haven't been able to summon the necessary energy/insanity to blog. I also take this moment to wonder why it is that my home computer can load every website on the Internet except for my own blog. One of the more obscure mysteries in life.

I am now sitting here in my pajamas, quite unshowered, because my brother got the shower first. Of course, it's also about 2:30 in the afternoon, so logic would say that I should have been up and showered long before this. But hey, it's winter break, and mornings ain't got nothin' on me.

I started my piece for the Envelopes exhibit, which will be taking place in Detroit at some as yet undetermined time in February. It looks like crud right now. The hope is that it will look better when everything is filled in, but having done as much of it as I have (not much, but a goodly amount), that hope is looking pretty slim. Alas, alas, alas. I think part of the problem is that I got so used to the 80º dorm room that I'm always cold here, and it's hard to do intricate penwork when your hands are freezing stiff.

In glorious news, coming straight to you from the pages of Wolverine Access, one of the best things to ever be created by the unversity technological powers that be. I passed chemistry! Yes, it was in doubt for some time. But I didn't just pass it, I cold passed it, with a lovely solid C-. And while that is only cause for mild celebration, I got an A or an A+ (!!!) in every other class I took. Take that, college! I own you!

My family has been eating so much chinese food lately that my dad has begun almost continually cracking bad jokes about living in Beijing. On Wednesday we went to the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. The show Splat Boom Pow was there. Some of it was quite good, some was pretty bad, and there was one piece that was profoundly disturbing. It featured a lot of little kids with crudely drawn genitals. It was done by a guy who was a recluse all his life and was extremely creepy. You got the feeling that if he hadn't been a recluse there would have been quite a lot of molested children out there.

Anyways, the point is that we had chinese food at PF Chang's. It was good. The next night was Christmas day, so we had to have chinese food, as nothing else was open. We went to Suchang's, which was very crowded, and where the words 'Happy Chanukah' were shouted loudly and often. We've also been having leftover chinese food for lunch for a couple of days now.

Christmas Day we went to the movies, as tradition dictates. The theater was actually much more crowded than we had thought it was going to be. My mother and I went to see Lord of the Rings, and our theater was filled to capacity. And it was one of those big, 500-seat theaters. Insanity. Those goyim, they just ain't what they used to be with religion and all.

So now that my mother has seen LOTR, I am allowed to write the highly anticipated Feline Anarchist movie review of it. Hold onto your seats kids, the insanity knows no bounds. As usual, there's a strong possibility of spoilers so, um, beware of that. But if you're a good fan, you've already read the books several hundred times each, so nothing comes as much of a surprise to you.

I liked it. I did. Really. Not quite as much as I liked the first two. But that might have something to do with the fact that the third book was my favorite one, so I was expecting something... unreasonable for this movie. Unreasonably whatever. I mean, this was a damn good movie. Battles were epic, characters were developed, scenery was sweeping, effects were impressive, dialog wasn't too stilted if you already knew what they were talking about, the hobbits collectively had more sexual tension among themselves than a middle school dance.

But... I don't know. I suppose I just got seriously overexcited for what was a good movie, a great movie, even. But it wasn't The Movie To End All Movies, So That I Could Never Watch Another Movie Again in Peace. I suppose that's why I had that mild sense of disappointment, and that's more or less what I meant by 'unreasonable'.

The movie was decidedly better upon second viewing. The first time around, as with the first two movies, I got extremely pissed off about everything they changed from the book. Saruman? Just cut out that entire section of the story, why don't you? Let us completely remove characters such as Prince Imrahil. And the ending? Yes, let us ignore the fact that the hobbits come home and the Shire is in tatters in the book. Immediate happy ending! Immediate happy ending! Hrmph. Although I guess (grumble mutter mutter) that that they did it that way because otherwise it would've been too long.

Éowyn is in love with Aragorn (the big-eyed blond chick likes the kingly guy with the scruffy beard, for those of you who never could get the names straight). At the end, Aragorn is getting married. Where's Éowyn? Off slitting her wrists or weeping into the cobblestones? Nope, there she is, standing in the crowd looking happy with... who's that guy? That's not Faramir, is it? It is? When did that happen? What? What?

In the book, see, Éowyn and Faramir both got injured in the battle (happened in the movie, too). So they both go the Minas Tirith version of a hospital, and they meet each other, and Éowyn gets over herself and Aragorn and falls in love with Faramir so that everyone can live happily ever after and we don't have anyone angsting over the title character at the end. In the movie, we are given absolutely no reason to believe that they had ever even met each other, yet at the coronation/wedding there they are, happily appearing to be in love. What the dickens, people?

Anyways, other stuff was good. Minas Morgul I liked, despite my irresistible first thought, which was 'Damn, it's the Emerald City'. Still, that's about the description it gave in the book, and I think they did a good job with it. When the big ol' spike of energy or what have you came out the top of it, that was quite nifty.

Theoden (king of the horsey folk) I liked. Éomer, his second in command and nephew, I did not like. He looked... weird. Denethor (the steward of Minas Tirith) I also liked, not because he was good, but because they made him deliciously evil. I mean, come on, he was gross and you adored it. He was slimy and creepy and plainly did something along the lines of molestation to Pippin when the cameras weren't rolling.

i am no man... oh sorry, that was éowyn's line.

Speaking of that scene with Pippin and Denethor. When Pippin sang. And I giggled. Well, it was kind of funny. But I like the fact that the actor who plays Pippin is Irish and has an Irish accent, so they made the song he was singing a little bit of an Irish ballad-sounding deal.

The spider, whom everyone has been discussing. It's been called the most realistic CGI spider ever to be made, and that's accurate. It's even more realistic than a lot of real spiders, if that makes any sense. It's freaking huge, it's completely disgusting, and it looks 120% real. The most frightening thing about it was the way it moved. They must have had people studying the way spiders move for months to get it down so perfectly.

Gollum, yeah, his novelty wore off a little after the second movie. He has another argument with himself, whoop de doo, we saw that last time. But Jason pointed out, and this is neat, his pupils are different sizes depending on which aspect of himself he is at a given time. As the 'good' Sméagol, his pupils are big. As the 'evil' Gollum, his pupils are small. Cool.

Gandalf was much the same as he has been, except for that scene at the end where he was laughing. What was that? It looked freaky. Oh, and I somehow thought his beard was longer. It looked oddly short in this movie, although perhaps that's just my brain playing silly buggers with me.

Gimli was no longer the joke dwarf that he was in the second movie. He still provided some moments of comic relief, but at least none of them involved dwarf tossing this time around.

As Corey rightly pointed out, Legolas in this movie was sort of reduced to the role of Storm in the second XMen movie, that being to stand around wide-eyed and pretty-looking and explain the plot for those in the audience who didn't get it (Aragorn: So we'll all go to Mordor and fight some orcs and buy Frodo some time. Legolas: A diversion! Audience: Ohhhhhhh). And sometimes do cool, overly intricate things that looked good but weren't really all that powerful. Case in point, that entire sequence with the elephant (or mumak, if you're going to get pedantic and dorky on me). Yes, we get to see Orlando Bloom swinging about and generally being lithe and agile and elven, and at the end of it he does a jaunty little dismount off the trunk of the elephant. Very nice, I'm sure, but more show than anything else. The theater during my second viewing apparently liked it though, because at that point they all started applauding.

The battle scenes were appropriately large, but after Helm's Deep in the second movie they all sort of looked alike. Men in fortress versus orcs trying to invade fortress. Everyone has swords and maces and things, and there are probably some trolls involved who scare the crap out of the men because they're just so darned big. You think they'd be used to the fact that the trolls are gonna be there, they're gonna be big, and you're just going to have to shoot them down or something. No need to act surprised and shocked everytime a troll shows up.

Minas Tirith (city of the king... that big white place with all the different levels) I liked. They made it look like it was described in the book, and they made it look good. Despite the unavoidable wedding cake resemblance, it looked quite appropriately like what it was supposed to be.

Faramir (son of Denethor, brother of Boromir, guy who gets beaten around a lot and cries because his daddy doesn't love him) I guess was OK in the movie. I'm still disappointed that they didn't make him as great as he was in the book. But my mother thought he was cute, and he kind of is. So there's a silver lining to every cloud.

The hobbits... the hobbits. Merry and Pippin needed to get married at the end of that movie. "I knew you'd find me. Are you going to leave me?" "No, I'm going to stay here. I'm going to take care of you." And numerous other such scenes. And then at the end, when they're saying goodbye to the folks getting on the boat, one of them (I think it was Pippin) was wearing what looked for all the world like a plaid schoolgirl's uniform and a paisley scarf. I'm not even kidding. And then he turns around and has his arm around Merry and they walk away. The movie would have been so much better if they made those two into a love story.

Sam and Frodo practically were a love story anyways. All those scenes of Sam cuddling Mr. Frodo and comforting Mr. Frodo and pawing at Mr. Frodo and getting jealous because Mr. Frodo is spending too much time with Gollum and not paying attention to the dinner that Sam spent all night slaving over and making just right. There were at least 10 moments in the third movie alone where they could have kissed and it would have seemed entirely appropriate to the plot. Come on! It was meant to be! Suck it up Peter Jackson and bow to the inevitable!

And then of course they toss in that bit with the lady hobbit to all of a sudden make Sam say, "I'm not gay! Really! I'm not!", instead of giving the audience what they really want, which is the gay hobbit action they've been promised all throughout the series. And I mean that in a completely unperverted sort of way, no matter what it sounds like. They were the ones who went and set up this movie so these hobbits looked like they were in love with one another, and then they wimp out of it. Hrmph. Cowards. *shakes fist vengefully at Hollywood*

Oh, I liked the start, how they did the whole Gollum-back-when-he-was-Sméagol-the-hobbit-like-creature bit, and his subsequent transformation into the lovable CGI Gollum that we know today. A rather disgusting transformation, I might add, but rather satisfyingly well done for all that.

Also at the beginning, Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, and Gandalf come across Merry and Pippin hanging out at Isengard (former home of evil wizard Saruman, now the Land of the Talking Trees). Merry and Pippin are smoking. And giggling. And rolling around. And generally acting vaguely inappropriately. The question on everyone's mind, I think, is: what the heck are they smoking? Is it that infernal maryjawanna business? Kids these days...

Right, sorry, this is looking a little long. Sorry. Got a bit out of hand. Anyways, I know it looks like I ripped it to bits, but it was actually a really good movie that was only a wee bit disappointing because I'm a rabid, unrelenting fan of the books with a really good memory of exactly what was and was not in them. Oh well. So The Return of the King gets Four Paws Up, minus a paltry couple of cat hairs. Because, see, there was that wee bit of disappointment. If you liked the first two, go see it. In fact, why haven't you already seen it? And if you have, go see it again. If you didn't like or didn't see the first two, don't be an ass and go see this one just so you can complain about it and piss off real fans. You jerks.

If you haven't been playing iSketch online, what the heck have you been doing on the Internet? Nothing good, I should think.

8:52 PM

Friday, December 19, 2003  
Well, I can't say anything really detailed about Lord of the Rings just yet, because my mother hasn't seen it, and I'm not supposed to ruin it for her. So expect a comprehensive review sometime shortly after Christmas Day (that being when I think we're going to see it). But I did see it, and it was pretty damn good. Some bits were undeniably funny, like the pullback shot from the summit of Minas Tirith that had me, Corey, and Jason in uncontrollable laughter. And there seemed to be a lot more unaddressed homoerotic tension in this one, but that may just have been the fault of the particular people who were watching it. C'mon, you just know it would have made the movie so much better. Anyways, no more shall be said until after Christmas and my second viewing.

Aaargh, I cannot type on this computer to save my life. I've become accustomed to the laptop. This keyboard is weird, and this whole screen-not-an-integral-part-of-the-keyboard thing is throwing me off. But I shall labor on!

The flight home was fine, a little rough at the end, but nothing notable. The guy sitting next to me had hemhorroids though, unless I am vastly mistaken. He spent the entire flight squirming about rather exaggeratedly and scratching his legs. It was funny, in a I'm-really-glad-I-have-the-window-seat-and-he's-got-the-aisle-and-we've-got-an-empty-seat-between-us kind of way.

Ah, the joy of cats is mine again. I woke up this morning with something warm and fuzzy wrapped around my ankles under the sheets. It was Miranda. It was freaking great. That, and the fact that the bed wasn't lofted. And the fact that not only was there no TV on all night in my room, there wasn't a TV on in the whole house. Bliss, I tell you, bliss.

Today my mother and I went to Nahant to see if we might see the barred owl who is supposed to dwell there. We found him, alright. He was sitting up in a tree, and you could see him really easily without binoculars, because that is one damn big bird. And damn cute too, I might add. You just wanted to scoop him up and hug him. Although that would be a really, really bad idea. In reality.

The first night of Chanukah was tonight, so Happy Chanukah to all of you out there who celebrate it. I got a rubik's cube thing, so that I may have more diversions to prevent me from studying next semester.

And I got a CD: 'Living Room' by Paris Combo. They're freaking awesome. Their sound is a predominently jazzy one with tributes to cabaret singing, spanish music, and gypsy guitar. Too good. I want to make everyone listen to their CD right this very moment, so that I may share out the goodness that is their music.

Saw Finding Nemo tonight, finally. It was pretty good, although there were some scenes that made me wonder if small children might have been traumatised upon viewing them. The animation was quite good, and I appreciated it all the more because of that lecture we had from the Pixar people, where they went into quite a lot of detail on the subject of making Finding Nemo. Oh, and the brief scene of the lobsters with the Boston accents saying 'wicked' pretty much made the movie for me. Made it awesome, I mean to say.

gil was my favorite character, other than the lobster cameo. woo yay for rough n'tough angelfish!

Ghah, my hands are so damn cold. I got so used to that stinking room, with it's horrid temperature around 80 degrees, so now, in my own home, I'm cold. That just ain't right. Hrmph.

I didn't start my piece for the Envelopes show yet, but maybe I will tomorrow. I've got my idea all set, and I have a minimum of research to do, and then I can rock. And possibly roll. Possibly.

100% of fact: If one was to provide a retarded spider monkey with scissors, tape, and wrapping paper, one would get something more closely resembling a properly wrapped present than I could ever make.

11:34 PM

Friday, December 12, 2003  
First off I think it needs to be said that the new Weebl and Bob is a really, really, really good one. Bumhats!

Today I had to dash all over North Campus delivering finals and tracking down people. Such fun. Then I came back and went to the Natural History Museum to draw critters. That place is damn creepy. It was practically empty. It is sort of unfortunately set up for art purposes, because I have to sit on the floor to draw the animals, so the only ones I can draw are the ones on the bottom shelf of the display cases. I drew a beaver (came out OK), a rabbit (came out dreadful), and a red fox (came out quite well). I may go back tomorrow, if I get thoroughly bored of studying for chemistry.

This recent bout of critter drawing is to get me properly psyched up for the Envelopes show in Detroit this February. It's being set up by Ryan Estrada, whose link I finally put up on the side there. I know I've mentioned him before. Not only a superb artist, a Very Nice Person as well. I will be submitting a piece to this show, and hopefully it will not suck with the power of a thousand black holes. The whole event has gotten enormous, involving a great many artists, most of whom are doubtless better than I am, but such is life. I believe it's supposed to be at the Detroit Film Center. If you're in the area keep an eye out, it looks like it'll be a good do.

Anyways, Wednesday was our CFC class final presentation. The assignment was to make something about 'hope and despair'. People were saying that this was our best batch yet, but I didn't think so. It seemed to me that a lot of people, for this project, used very generic concepts of hope and despair. There also seemed to be a prevelance of small, posterlike things. Exceedingly unimpressive, for a final project. I was all disappointed and whatnot.

That said, some of it was good/different. Joe, once again, amazed the entire class. He did a Flash movie on the computer, with really creepy Cirque de Soleil music and images he drew in Illustrator and a really sweet, really sad poem he wrote about how his mother has cancer. It made everyone get teary and shivery all at once.

Thomàs did his project on 'Hell--the place where there is no hope'. Which is accurate, if you go in for that sort of thing, but not mindbogglingly original. For his piece he got a tank and put these twisted little figurines in it. Then he filled it with feeder crickets and mealworms. And got a soundtrack of screams. What it lacked in originality of concept it certainly made up in originality of form (compared to everything else in the room).

Taylor's was actually quite good. Hers was all about post partum depression, and she made a paper doll set called 'Post Partum Pam'. That's OK so far as it goes, but her craftsmanship was impeccable. It looked for all the world like a real paper doll set you would buy in a store somewhere in the 50s. All glossy and perfectly colored and such.

Then there was 'Prozac Barbie', which was a mild idea but raised itself with good craftsmanship and an obscene amount of attention to detail, right down to making Barbie's jewelry out of pills. There was a blownup photo of a lady in a 'pose of despair' with words all over her body that was very bad. Not only was the photo a stock photo, one of the words was spelled wrong (lonely was spelled as 'lonley'). For a piece relying heavily on the words themselves to make an impact, a misspelling was inexcusable.

Another painfully generic one had a painting of a downcast looking girl all in blue (gee, get the despair imagery there, folks?). And it had a broken heart sewn in fabric on it. And a sad poem about getting your heart broken. I'm not even kidding. It was that pathetic.

Then there was the one which consisted of three paintings of a girl, one showing her getting injured, one showing her hiding the scar, and one with her showing off the scar. Thusly making a statement about accepting what happens and having hope, versus denying it and having despair. Or something. OK, fine. But the paintings... oy. Oy. Anime, that's what they were. Bad anime. Anime done by a retarded monkey with a broken hand. I have pictures, but I can't bring myself to post them online. It made me retch.

And of course we had the requisite political commentary ones. Andrew's piece was actually not bad.. it was about poverty in some African country, and hope through religion. He did a small poster, which was boring, but the piece was redeemed because he made it very neatly and carefully. And he used all his own photos (he had gone on a trip there), as opposed to the stock photography that lots of people seemed to enjoy using. Helena did something about Native American oppression. I dunno, it was just a blown up Photoshopped image, it was nice-looking, but nothing that would've taken me more than 20 minutes to whip up.

Oh, and the worst in the class, by far, was about 9/11. It consisted of three panels with bits of wire and things on them. The first one showed two wire towers with a plastic toy airplane glued on top of them. And bits of glass. The second one was a big mess of wire and ashy stuff. The third one was a torn up flag which had the words 'Our colors don't run' painted on it. I seriously wish I was kidding about that. The person who made it (*cough*Alix*cough*) put her computer behind it and played that 'Proud to be an American' song. You know. The one with soundbytes of 9/11 footage inserted? She then read a poem of a her own invention, a lovely little piece of tripe along the lines of 'Into buildings the planes did fly/ People 'round the country did cry'. The badness of this 'art' cannot be conveyed. I nearly gagged during the presentation. It should not have been allowed to exist.

Right. Mine. Well, you all know what my concept was. Red Sox fans. I ended up making 15 big panels. Each one had comic book-style illustrations on them. They were arranged in the general shape of the World Series trophy. When you read them in the order they were hung up, they told a story. Oh, here, I'll just copy and paste my 'artist statement':

This project follows the lives of two everyman (and everywoman) Red Sox fans as they go through one hectic year of rising hopes and plunging despair. The form of the piece echoes the form of the World Series trophy, the ultimate focusing point of both hope and despair for Red Sox fans. At the end of the story, the two find themselves right back where they were in the beginning. The whole cycle repeats. Just like the cycle of hope and despair repeats EVERY FREAKING YEAR for Red Sox fans.

The two fans meet, interact, and live their separate yet parallel lives. Are they destined for one another? Will they find one another through a love of baseball? Who cares? It’s a story about Red Sox fans, and any story underlying that is just a bonus.

The panels with red in them are the ones you ought to read. The purely black and white panels are copies of the main, red ones, and are present only for visual impact.

Yes, that is precisely what I turned in. Hmph. Well, someone in the class has to have a sense of humor. Honestly. I don't know if the damn thing turned out any good, but at least it was big, it was kind of funny, it was different, and I sure as heck know I worked a long, long time on it.

picture was here, but photohost died, sorry

Mmmyup. Those of you at home can see it up close and for real, 'cause I shall be bringing it home. My teacher thinks I should tell the Red Sox organization about it. I asked her what the heck they would do with it. Her response? "They could hang it up in a bar!" Gee, thanks prof!

Maybe I'll hang it up in my room. It'd be rather impressive there. Not sure if I've got a wall big enough, though. Ho hum.

Crikey, I really hope no one in my CFC class reads this. I was just very hard on a lot of their stuff. Of course, I didn't mention everyone in the class, because I'm too lazy to go through every single project, but still. I could have just got myself into quite a bit of hot water. Oooooh well.

I finally printed out and organized a bunch of pictures, so when I get home y'all can see the bizarre folks I've been hanging around with out here in the vast midwest. Egads I can't wait to get home. Chemistry final on Tuesday, flight home on Thursday. It'll be OK though, the roommate leaves Tuesday, so I'll have a couple days here before I head out that will not be filled with agony.

Who wants to do the Freshman Experience back at SHS? Eh? Eh? C'mon, you know you want to influence those impressionable little high school seniors. I refuse to do it by myself, for fear of getting stuck with a panel of people like the Blocks and Madame Grasso and Jeff Pratt. But if someone else normal is there, I think it would be extremely funny and well worth seeing. Email me, kiddos, this is an event we ought to take over and remold in our own, twisted way.

Er. Yes. Off to read more Lord of the Rings. The goal? Finish all three before seeing Return of the King. Began the first one about 5 days ago. Current progress? About 100 pages into the second book. We shall see what we shall see.

9:05 PM

Wednesday, December 10, 2003  
It's the last day of classes today, thank cats. I woke up at 8:30 and thought I had slept though my last chemistry class. I got up to shower anyways, and halfway through realized that class started at 9, not 8, so if I rushed I could, in fact, still make class. I've no idea why, after an entire semester of class at 9, I would suddenly think it was at 8. Just one of those mornings.

I did make it to class, by the way.

The big deal for today is that we're presenting our final projects for CFC. You know, the one that had to be about 'hope and despair'. Others are doing their projects on 9/11, and racial discrimination, and poverty. I did mine on Red Sox fans. Well, at least it'll be different. In this case we hope that 'different' means 'worthy of an A'.

Anyways, I'll probably take pictures so you can all see what it looks like when it's installed and.... oh, damn, that reminds me, I need to charge my camera battery! A moment. *a moment passes in which I dig out my battery charger, plug it in, and insert the battery* OK. Good thing I remembered that.

Right-o, not much else to say until I actually finish classes, so I've rustled up some things which you ought to check out. I don't give you folks half the links I think I should, but I suffer from the worrying thought that no one ever looks at the things I say you ought to look at.

First off, if you're looking for even more ways to waste your time on the computer, I found ways for you to do so! If you're looking for things to do online, check out Fan and Ball. It's very pretty and rather difficult. It's linked up on the side, for posterity.

If you're looking for things to do on your computer when you're not online (like when you're in lecture, but not in a room with wireless internet... and as if Snood wasn't bad enough) you should go check out Neave's webgames. You can play them online, but you can also download and play them whensoever you please. Nice, classic games. And the site design is lovely, especially the wonky frame that gets bulgy and liquidy when you run the cursor over it. Playing with that alone entertained me for at least as long as PacMan did.

I also have a brand spankin' new webcomic for you to peruse. It's, which I keep misspelling when I try to type it out. The fellow who makes it took one enigmatic comic of dinosaurs, and every day he supplies them with new dialogue. The same images! New dialogue! Every day! It's equal parts madness and genius, and the expression on the T. Rex lends itself perfectly to so many things. Oh, and the one he did on Batman's origins made me laugh out loud.

Cripes, it's raining like the clappers out there. I don't want to go all the way up to North Campus, all in my nice pants and whatnot to do this stupid presentation. Nice pants going to get sopping wet. Grr.

OK. I need to go dig up my level and my tape measure so's I can hang these here panels nice and straight-like. I will probably blog again tomorrow to let you all know how it went, and also because I will not have class. Although I will have a timeline to make out of metal. Hmm. Yes. I'm off.

11:05 AM

Saturday, December 06, 2003  

Today I shopped. Yes, you can hear my joy, can you not? I spent lots of money and got stuff and felt all productive and whatnot. I also braved the protesters in front of Borders and got books. There were a lot of security people about making sure the protesters kept their distance, though, so it was OK. For some reason a figure skating team from Minnesota was taking a tour of the campus. I saw them all with their Minnesota Figure Skating Club jackets in the diag. Inexplicable.

Also inexplicable was the large group of people wearing business suits with blindfolds over their eyes. They had their hands on each others shoulders, and were being led around campus by a couple other people in suits. I had no idea what was going on. It looked like an initation of some sort, but it wasn't for a frat or sorority, since both genders were represented. It looked like a business school initiation, but I am skeptical of the existence of such a thing.

Anyways. Last night.

Around 6ish I headed out to the gallery opening at the WORK gallery with Helena and some other kids (Meredith, Heather--a different Heather, Kevin--a different Kevin, Zach, and Megan). The new Kevin doesn't go to UMich, he goes to some school that specially trains engineers for Ford. Insanity. Meredith is 21 and bonded with me over roommate stories, since her roommate is a nutter as well. But at least they share an entire apartment, as opposed to only one room.

The gallery had some good stuff in it, like a giant flower thing made out of plastic spoons, and some really cool-looking chairs that must have been a project for some industrial design class or other. It also had some very, very bad things, like a couple of sculptures made out of doll parts and a cloth doll with a guitar that was literally taken right off of a Korn CD cover. My fruit-covered-in-candy-wrappers thing was in it, so hurray for getting into a gallery and all that. It had its own little podium all to itself. Helena's GWBush sculpture was in the show too, as was a sculpture by Meredith that looked a lot like a Henry Moore creation.

The entire downstairs bit of the gallery was taken over by an 'eco art sculptures' exhibition, sort of existing within the rest of the 3D exhibition. The whole thing was masterminded by, surprise surprise, Mr. Joe Trumpey, the biological illustrator I tracked down like mad and will be learning from next semester. Some of it was stupidly angsty (a giant metal mesh cube filled with garbage), but some of it was cool. One kid had done a whole bunch of incredible little pen and ink biological illustrations of closeup plants and critters that he arranged according to where you would find them (branches on the ceiling, bugs and feathers hanging so they were in the middle, worms and fallen leaves on the floor).

After we had had enough of the opening we all went to Cosi for dinner. I have decided that Cosi bread is one of the best kinds of bread in the history of bread. Then we had Stucci's ice cream, because we felt like it. I had pepperminty goodness. It was pretty delicious, but it can hardly compare to Richardson's.

Then Helena and I went to her room in Markley and chatted until her roommate kicked us out. We went and mucked about outside in front of Mojo. There is a bridge in front of the Jo door, and we went under that and explored around. It's a neat space.

After a while (it was around 11ish) she went back to Markley and I went in. My roommate had gotten roaringly drunk with her friend Adam, and was stumbling around the hall with a dress on over jeans. She was going on and on about her dress. Everyone on the hall felt really bad, because she was plainly quite happy about it, but the dress had the waist right under her chest and it really, really, really made her look like she was pregnant. No one said anything, because a) no one wanted to bring her down from her drug-induced joy and b) it was damn funny.

Elisa's boyfriend, Derrick, is the lead singer and guitarist for a band called The Jaded Reason. The frats Alpha Delta Pi and Psi Upsilon were having a Battle of the Bands for some charitable purpose or other, which The Jaded Reason was participating in. So we decided to go see it, 'we' being me, Sara, Amanda, Beth, Katy, some girl named Ashley, Kevin, and Tom. Elisa wasn't with us because she was with the band, so we met up with her once the band got there. We ended up meeting up with Adam (a different Adam than the one with Brynn), Alex, and some other fellows I did not know there. Oh, and I met up with Dave, but he didn't know any of my hallmates, so he was rude and only said hi to me. Sigh. Guys.

picture was here, but photohost died, sorry

We had a heck of a time getting there, because we knew the general area it was in, but we had no idea where it was exactly. So we were wandering around the streets, peering at house numbers and trying to figure out which direction to go in. Eventually we sighted some people who looked like they knew where they were going, so we followed them and managed to get there.

A momentary intermission here. What is up with all the repeated names? I now know two different Heathers, two different Kevins, three different Sarahs, and three different Adams. HI MICHIGAN USE SOME DIFFERENT NAMES EVERY SO OFTEN.

Right-o. So we were at Psi U. A frat. I am not a fan of frats, at all, but this was actually pretty fun because people were drinking, of course, but they wouldn't let you bring the beer down past the second level, and all the bands were playing on the first level, so there were no people stumbling around and spilling beer everywhere. I, of course, was not drinking at all, but it wasn't odd-feeling, because no one else was either on the entire first floor. It was a really pretty building, with all these old, decoratively molded ceilings and whatnot. Very unfratlike. There were a lot of people there but it wasn't overly crowded. So it was a much better time than frats generally are.

The Jaded Reason was really quite good. Derrick's voice reminds me quite forcibly of Incubus, but their music is a lot more 'rock' than that. They were on for a while, and the crowd reacted quite well to them. He sang a song to Elisa that made everyone go 'aaaawwww'. It was very cute. They're a hilarious couple, since she's tiny, and he's huge.

I've no idea who won the Band Battle, because we left after The Jaded Reason played, and I think there was still one band left to play. At that point it was around 1, 1:30 am. The boys were hungry, so we all went to Panchero's and had Mexican food and gave blessings to restaurants that stay open late. We ended up sitting there for quite a bit chatting, and then we headed back to the dorms, and got there around 2:30ish.

Yup. That was my night. Very long and very full but very fun.

OK, I do believe it is now time for me to put away this gloriously clean laundry and then work on my projects. Which I am not going to finish on time. *sniffle*

Quote of the evening comes from Loud Sarah, talking to Jen at dinner tonight: "I can't believe you're married. I just can't believe it. That's like me saying I have a third boob. Marriage is like a third boob."

7:26 PM

Tuesday, December 02, 2003  
*edit: I nearly forgot! We watched Un Chien Andalou in art lecture today. You know, that extremely screwy ancient surrealist film made by Salvador Dali in his youth with his 'buddy' Luis Bunuel. With the famous eye-slashing scene. It was great. Dali, you nutter. I had been feeling like a bad artist/film lover, since I hadn't seen this obscenely famous film, but now I feel better.

Oh, and at the eye scene, the entire room went 'eeeewww' and 'oh noooo!' and other such things. Just goes to show that you don't need great special effects to gross out/awe/horrify your audience. end edit*

I got an email today from the art school bearing the following message:


Friday December 5 from 8-830 p

Art battle this Friday on the corner of north university and state street.
Competition to find the best artist in Ann Arbor.   Supplies provided.

live fiddler.

brought to you by helicycle press and potato salad.

Is it just me, or are there several factors of oddity involved in that announcement? I'm tempted to go just to see what the heck it actually is.

Not to mention the live fiddler.

Also today, on North Campus, I got stuck in the bus on the way back to the dorm because an armed convoy was going by. It involved lots of police and flashing lights and people looking very uptight and alert. In the center of the millions of vehicles was one very large, very ponderous, very mean looking truck. It was excellent. People were really worried and confused... I mean, we had what was actually an armed convoy going through campus. And the cacophony of flashing lights were most impressive, since it was dark out.

Anyways, it turns out that the truck was transporting some barrels of some nasty substance or other which absolutely could not be allowed to fall into the hands of those goddamn radical midwestern students. Quite seriously, it was some material or other which no one was supposed to even look wrong at, let alone steal and cart away. Something to do with those weird chemical engineering people up on North Campus. I'm not sure what substance would a) be transported in barrels and b) require that much serious armament and security to truck it around. Unless, you know, they were trotting plutonium through the University of Michigan campus.

i'd photoshop it to say 'university of michigan' instead of 'france', but that would require work

Ah, it's only been a few days since Thanksgiving break, and I desperately need it to be December break. These damnable art projects... they are killing me. And dorm food is killing me, and the roommate is killing me, and this frelling loft is killing me, and not being able to sleep at night because the TV is on is killing me. Aargh and such.

Thanksgiving was good, though. The food was glorious, especially the seven layer cake. Mmm. Seven layer cake. And I was given Vernor's to take back to the dorm, so choke on that, Dad and Eli! Ha HA!

We went to the house of my dad's friend Bill and his wife Carol to hang with my dad's old friends, as we do pretty much every year. But Bill and Carol had cats! I was perishing of feline withdrawal, not certain if I could make it to December break. And then cats! They were two lovely Abyssinians by the names of Lilly and Emma. Oh, they were gorgeous. I went into transports of ecstasy at the sight of them.

We got to see Al and Suzi and cousins Sam and Joey, which was nice. Before the Lions game on Thanksgiving we went to a place in Greektown which served Coney hot dogs. My dad got a hot dog with some vile form of chili on it. It was utterly disgusting. Then Eli dumped his entire glass of water onto my lap. It was cold and rainy out, and I was wearing jeans, so good times were had by all. Then the Lions went and won, so this is doomed to become a pregame ritual. I'll have to bring two pairs of pants to the game next year.

Yes, you heard correctly! THE LIONS WON! They beat the Green Bay Packers! 22-14! Yes, Brett Favre, you were beaten by the Detroit Lions! More exactly, you were beaten by Jason Hanson, the kicker, who was really our only scoring power, but you were beaten nonetheless! Awwweeeesoommmeee. It was up and down and very close and generally just a glorious game all around.

I must say that Ford Field is very nice, quite a lovely stadium and all, but it really does not compare to the Big House. Everything looked so... small. And I felt unusually rested after the game. Generally I'm standing up for the entire time, because there is rarely a pause in the wild excitement at a Michigan game. But the Lions crowd was definitely not all college kids, and they seemed to prefer a more sedately viewed game.

We were sitting next to Packer fans, but it wasn't too bad, since they were very small. Children, actually, and you all know my feelings on the small vermin, but these weren't too offensive. One of them had a Packers helmet on, and the other had an inflatable cheesehead. There were some Packers fans sitting a few rows in front of us, a teenaged guy and his girlfriend. The girlfriend had a cheesehead. The old, bitter, drunk Lions fan behind her spent a good portion of the game crumbling up peanut shells and putting them on her cheesehead. When she discovered this the situation rapidly deteriorated and she ended up leaving in tears. As my dad said, it was not Lions fandom's finest moment.

a real cheesehead, and a Lions fan mocking cheeseheads

My uncle Al brews his own beer. Now, I strongly dislike beer. As you all know, I don't indulge in drunken hijinks out here at college (or indeed ever). The most alchohol I imbibe is wine at holidays. Well, this was a holiday, and all my family was there, and my uncle made the frigging stuff, and I was offered a glass. I'm wary of any beer, since most of it requires merely a whiff to make me ill, but this stuff was actually quite good. He had two kinds, and I forget what kinds they were (they had complicated names), but the first one, especially, was excellently notbitter.

The Dolphins were also playing on Thanksgiving, and they ran all over the Cowboys, 40-21. Ha ha! Have a little taste o'that, Parcells! Let us all give a great big Woo Yay! for jewish quarterbacks. Oh Jay Fiedler, your nose may be large, and your ears may be goofy, but we love you much.

The Patriots played on Sunday against the Colts. They nearly killed me, the game was so close. Peyton Manning brought his team back with 21 unanswered points in the second half. It was terrible. It ended up coming down to the Colts being practically on the 2 yard line, needing a touchdown to win. But the Patriots defense held strong and they didn't score. Patriots won, 38-34. Nearly gave me a heart attack, but they won.

So all three of my teams won! That never happens. Even if the Patriots and Dolphins win, the Lions usually lose, so this is like a weekend of unparalleled joys. It was the most beautiful football weekend in the history of football weekends.

OK, time to work on those hideous art projects. Sorry about the whole two-pictures-in-one-blog deal, but they both seemed necessary. Good eve, all.

6:56 PM

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