Friday, April 30, 2004
Blimey! Helene's blog today made me realize that I'd missed my 3 year anniversary on this thing... it would've been back on April 9. Oh well. Three years of Felines for Anarchistic Green Democracies, and about a year on CatBlog before that. That's a powerful lot o'bloggin', my friends. Hope you've been enjoying it.
I suggest you have a gander at Slow Wave. People write in their dreams and this guy draws them in comic book form. Genius! And well done. I recommend it.
'Naught else to say... I caught the end of the Red Wings game last night, when they BEAT CALGARY, and also got into a bit of a fight when one of the Calgary players blindsided our goalie. Dirty, dirty Calgary. Tsk tsk tsk.
I also scanned in and digitally photographed over 50 images to be uploaded to my main site whenever I can be bothered to do so. That's going to be one hell of a portfolio site, yessiree. And hopefully I'll finish and upload the next batch of b3tan name illustrations at some point today or tomorrow or Sunday.
That is all. Happy 3rd anniversary, Helene!
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
Well, sorry I haven't been posting. It's been a bit nuts lately. But you may rest assured that I am, in fact, back in the Boston area and I am, in fact, in most of one piece. Anywho, long blog, and probably boring as all heck. You know you love it, in Reality.
The end of the year involved a lot of work, and not much sleep. I wrote and got in my ADP final paper with some degree of ease... it ended up being on the history of the dog in art. Which, while not particularly fascinating, was at least not overly difficult to research. The final test for that class went tolerably, better than the midyear, anyways.
My final english paper took a very long time to write, and probably wasn't that good when I finished it. It was on how comic books dealt with the Western myth of genius. I used Batman in the '40s, Batman in the '80s, and the Watchmen as my examples. Blargh. Horrid. In fact, I'd really rather not think about it right now, so that's all you'll hear about it.
Er, then there was 24 hour comic day, which meant a lack of sleep and, ironically, a lack of good comic book drawing. Oh well. I know what to do differently for next year. High on the list of things to do is Giving Up on the Goddamned Crosshatching.
Then I had to pack up all of my stuff, which ended up being far more traumatizing than I had anticipated, mostly because I had managed to accumulate a startling amount of stuff. I hadn't realized that I'd bought quite so many books. I need to stop being able to read quickly. In fact, I now need new stuff to read, so if anyone's got suggestions they'd be quite welcome.
On Saturday my dad came to Ann Arbor to pick me up. We barely got everything into the car (the station wagon... my car, actually, now that my mother has the new Lexus. huzzah!) and had a small moment of fear when it seemed that a few things were not going to fit in. The back window was entirely blocked up, and there wasn't a inch of give anywhere, but by golly we got it all in.
Then, it being a nice day, we went down to the fabulous Starbucks on State Street, where I had spent much (probably too much) of my time this year. When we wandered back my hallmates were mildly angered because they thought I'd snuck off without saying goodbye. Lawd bless 'em.
That's probably the one main thing that does stink about leaving school for the summer... saying goodbye to my hallmates, and my art school buddies, and the few varied other kids from my LS&A classes (i.e. bio and english... I didn't talk to anyone in chemistry). Meh. I got to see lots of folks before I left, though... obviously I saw all the hall kids, I made Kevin stop by (he also took most of my extra food, which was useful), I went out for ice cream and a walk around campus with Heather, I had dinner with Helena, Joe stopped by for a lovely chat (causing my hallmates to titter mercilessly... yes, I mean you, Beth and Amanda), I hung about in Starbucks with Tom and Josh... and I ran into various art folk at random times. Lovely folks, all. IT'S A PITY NONE OF THESE PEOPLE LIVE IN BOSTON.
miss you already, first jo!
Enough of that malarky. That night my dad and I had dinner at Buddy's, which is very good pizza. The Redwings game had just ended (the one with the awesome fight against Calgary), and lots of the people there had Redwings jerseys on. Delightful. Then I actually got to sleep, which was, at that point, something of a novelty for me.
The next day we went to the Tigers/Indians game at Comerica Park, which was a pretty good time, despite the fact that the Tigers lost. They still won that series, so I guess it was OK. The people behind us had all sorts of wisdom to impart during the game... for instance: "So when he's got three balls up and no strikes, I like to say, 'Here comes the chicken!' Like right now, see. HERE COMES THE CHICKEN.'" or "This is much better than old Tiger Stadium... here you worry about if it's gonna rain or not. There you never knew if it was rain or the pipes leaking. Like, is that rain, or did someone just flush?" All of this, of course, in a midwestern accent. Oh, and of course there was a hot dog salesman who was doing opera. Wonderous.
That night we went out to dinner with my Bubbie, Uncle Al, Aunt Suzi, and cousins Sam and Joey. We went to a kosher restaurant in their JCC (Jewish Community Center, for those who don't know), which is about a million times bigger and fancier than our JCC is. I mean... restaurant! In the JCC! Apparently they also have some sort of art gallery, and a massive multi-level gym with, I don't know, an indoor track and other stuff. Madness of the highest degree.
Then we went to sleep (early) and got up again (very early) so we could get on the road by 5:45 am (it ended up being 5:55, but hey, I tried). We didn't have any trouble at either of the borders. The drive through southern Ontario was painfully boring, as it always is (so damn flat), and New York was long, but less boring (mountains!).
We amused ourselves by having Highway Birdwatch 2004. We saw several hawks, most of which were unidentified (one was either a Cooper's or a Sharpshin, but I can never tell the difference), a couple of turkey vultures (big, big scary vultures), about 8 million redwinged blackbirds (mostly in Canada, for whatever reason), one owl (sitting in a tree, watching the road), and one very big, very surreal-looking wild turkey (they just shouldn't exist in the wild!). My dad also saw a fox (!), but I was zoning out so I missed it.
There were also, of course, a few horses in some scattered farms, and for a stretch in Canada (er, or maybe it was New York, I'm not positive on this) we saw ALL THE COWS. Oh, and there was a lot of roadkill in Detroit... not squirrels, big roadkill. I think a lot of them were raccoons, which is sad, because I really like raccoons. *sniffle*
It started raining pretty hard somewhere in New York, which wasn't too good for driving. It stayed drizzly all the way into Massachusetts, but I was quite happy to get back anyways. You in-state folks have no idea how seriously excited you can get driving along Lynnshore Drive when you've been away for two or more months. All that ocean... ah, 'tis heavenly, even on a rainy day.
We made quite good time, so the drive (plus stops) took a little under 12 hours, which is great. Then I had cats, and My Own Room, and my mother made her ambrosial macaroni from scratch. Aaaah yes.
That's about it. Today I met Jess at Fanueil Hall in Boston for lunch, which was delicious and enjoyable, as the weather was good, and it was of course lovely to see Jess again. It was good to drive out to Wonderland, since I hadn't really driven in ages. After lunch we immediately reverted to our usual mode of operation, which is "What do you want to do?" "I dunno, what do you want to do?" "I dunno, what do you want to do?" and so on ad infinitum.
We ended up heading down to the Aquarium to say hello to the seals, who were sunning themselves and generally being painfully cute. When the number of small children got intolerably high we left. Having nothing in particular to do, we decided to go on a Great Peregrination.
We wandered randomly and somehow ended up at the old federal court house (now the state court house... the federal court house got moved to that big new building fronting the harbor). Then we wandered around to Downtown Crossing, the Public Garden/Boston Commons, and Copley. Covered most of the city, as you can see. Good times.
I later realized I hadn't photoshopped anything properly in eons, so I knocked out this pleasant little critter just to see how rusty I was. Not bad, but not great, apparently. Oh well.
Hee hee hee. This is so true. And therefore funny.
So. Apparently Corey's animation is going to be showing at the ICA in Boston on May 8. Eh, the tickets are a slightly steep $20, but but but! The ICA! That's a big fucking deal! If you're in the area at all and have the slightest inclination towards going, I think you ought to go.
Eeep, OK, this has been long enough. Until the next, mes amis.
Saturday, April 17, 2004
I am currently waiting for my laundry to get out of the dryer, and I am steadfastly not doing work because today was a Hell Second Only to the Horrors of Move-In Day. Thusly, I blog.
Have you seen Subservient Chicken? It's extremely well done and therefore quite worrying. Apparently it's somehow affiliated with Burger King... if you tell him to eat McDonald's he flips you off. Oh, you can hate that under all the cleverness it's got corporate backing, but you really have to give Burger King credit for coming up with something as awesome as this.
All art school classes are now over, except for the ADP final on Monday, which everyone is flipping out over. There isn't much of a way to study for it, and no one did really well on the midyear, so it shouldn't be a good time at all. Alas. I also have to write my ADP final paper, and a long final research paper for english. Cat only knows when these will get done.
The reason why this day was so very evil is that I removed the carpet and the loft today. The carpet removal took 3 and a half hours and involved lots of wriggling around in dust and filth, the moving of every piece of furniture in the room, and judicious use of heavy duty scissors. The scissors did cut the carpet, but they protested a great deal about it. My right forefinger has now swollen to an uncomfortable degree, probably due in part to this.
The loft removal took around 4 hours. It was disassembled by yours truly, using nothing more than an adjustable wrench, a handsaw, a hammer, and a chisel. And, apparently, a steady hand for the use of such tools. The girl who's buying it off of me was present, but was completely incapable of wielding any of the tools... she couldn't unscrew the bolts, she couldn't do more than a couple of strokes with the saw, and she could only make weak taps with the hammer and chisel. So the task fell to me. Now my arms are sore in all sorts of fun ways, and my back is beginning to complain as well.
Anyways, I did get it all done, and I have to wake up early tomorrow to get the bed out of storage. The procedure of removing carpet, removing loft, and rearranging all the furniture in anticipation of bed return took up the entire day, and therefore all of my beautiful plans to write both my papers have gone to pot.
It is currently a fantastical 84? in my room, with the window open and the fan on, which makes matters quite unpleasant. One would have thought that it would cool down as the night went on, but this is clearly not the case. A quick glance at Weather.com indicates that tomorrow will be even hotter than today, but will (hopefully) be followed by something of a cool down on Monday.
ha ha! take that, jeter!
Er, yes. I do admit that I was in a fit of high spirits after the Red Sox game on Friday night. As my hallmates can relate. There was quite a bit of yelling. Kevin came by later to say hello, and said that there had been a lot of yelling from Adam's room earlier, which was the only way he (Kevin) had even known the Sox were playing that day. Ha ha. Anyways, that fit of happy insanity was what led to the quick and dirty little piece of photoshopping you see above.
I do hope that you all saw the game. No excuses, it was broadcast nationally. A 6-2 victory! And that was with the pitching change due to rain delay that had us starting the series off with Wakefield instead of Schilling. Not to worry, however, the curveball served us well for a number of innings. Our closers were relatively worrisome, but it all worked out in the end.
Giambi and Jeter both had errors, which was really quite lovely to watch. We expect no less of them. A-Rod was booed mercilessly by the fans. Someone who isn't a Red Sox fan might be confused by that, as we were campaigning quite hard to get him on our team before the season started, but one must bear in mind the Sox fan mentality. In many instances it's the uniform you're booing, not necessarily the player. We love Nomar, but let's admit it: if he put on Yankee pinstripes, he'd get booed right out of Fenway.
And you know the win wasn't a fluke, since we won today (Saturday... looking at the time this'll post on Sunday, but it's still Saturday in my mind) as well! 5-2! That was with Schilling pitching... I don't think he stayed in as long as Wakefield did, though. Eh, I don't know, I didn't get to see the game, as it wasn't on TV. I think that all Red Sox/Yankees games should be nationally broadcast. Screw this regional business.
Detroit won again today, bringing their record up to 7-4! Egads. What is going on? They've got a better percentage than the Sox do right now. This has gotten the attention of some of my less sportistically-inclined hallmates. I am now not the only one on the hall with crazed sport ramblings on my message board. It's a very exciting time for a team to go from being the worst team in baseball (which the Tigers were last year) to a pretty damn good ballclub.
Oh, we had our final critiques for CFC. Some of them were pretty impressive, and some were pretty lame. This was the class we had to make an installation piece for.
Mine, sadly, was one of the lamer ones. I'd post pictures of it, but it really doesn't convey it properly. You kind of had to be there. Plus there was a sound component which was vital to the experience of the installation, and I'm not uploading any mp3 files to my webspace. Frelling enormous, they are.
Some people had pretty good stuff and oh poo I've got to go get my stuff out of the dryer. Well, I wasn't going to, but I put the pictures up anyways. Enjoy them, but remember that almost all of these had sound involved, some had moving video, some had smell, and all were meant to be interacted with to some degree... so you can't really get a feel for them here.
But that should be good enough. Good night, all.
Monday, April 12, 2004
Snapshots from the art school:
The entire Jewish population of Jully's discussion section is saddened by the presence of pizza (not kosher for Passover) in class. Well, except for the New York sorority Jewish girls, who take it as a sign that they're meant to break Passover.
Danny goes out to the courtyard between classes to fly his new, giant, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles kite.
Glen climbs a tree, falls out of it, completely removes his hip from the rest of his body and is in surgery for two days (he's OK now, although on crutches probably forever and with one hell of a scar).
The sophomores begin to collectively lose their minds at the prospect of their Sophomore Reviews.
The giant hallway video screen shows a continuous loop of student videos from digital class last semester. They are almost uniformly bad.
Hye-Jin's CFC final presentation goes off very well, but then proceeds to leak copious amounts of water all over the floor. Her peers spend the rest of the 3 hour class walking through the water and deliberately squeaking their shoes.
Belal gets into a heated fight with three separate people at once during discussion. No one is surprised by this.
Nick (lecturer) begs Joe Trumpey to bring a live lamb in from his farm, and Joe obliges him. Nick wanders in and out of classes all day with said lamb in his arms, bringing the art school to a whole new level of surreality.
Sunday, April 11, 2004
OK, I'm sick and I have a lot of work to do. But a short blog is here, so no one can yell at me about not updating.
The LEO (Lecturer Employee Organization) strike apparently was quite big... lots of teachers (mostly LSA, not art school, alas) went on strike, and lots of students went on strike. There were huge notices all over the ground, written in chalk, saying things like "Don't go to class! Stay in and sleep for social justice!" or "You don't like that class anyways! Stay home and support LEO!" All of this, at 8 am, was terribly tempting, but to class I went.
Oh, if you're not at Michigan, the teachers were striking because the University has this policy where they only hire lecturers for one year. So there are some people who've been teaching for 10 or more years, but have no job security from one year to the next. They also get paid less than high school teachers. It's an awfully raw deal, and I am a LEO supporter, but I am also paying out-of-state tuition to go here and I'm sure as heck not going to miss class unless I'm quite ill.
The strikers up at the art school were marching around by the front door... people kept coming in to class all shell-shocked after having been yelled at and made to feel bad about going to class. After a bit people realized that the back door was open, so everyone (including me) just went in and out the back. The protesters apparently didn't realize this at any point during the day.
I had managed to avoid them all until I went to the busstop after class to go back to Central Campus. Alex came charging across the street and started good-naturedly haranguing me about having gone to class (he's in my class, and had missed the quiz we had that day, the protesting git).
Once back on Central I went to Starbucks to get some work done. This meant walking through the Diag (the main quad on the campus). The majority of the strikers were in the Diag. It was madness. There were tons of people with signs. There was a big crowd standing in front of the chemistry building chanting something in spanish. There was an even bigger crowd standing in front of Angell Hall chanting LEO chants and playing a marching tune on some trumpets. Good times.
Anyways, a lot later in the day the entire art school had a 'Peace March' (don't ask) with signs made by 2 very pissed off CFC classes, run by the guest artist lecturer for the week. I left rather early with Brandon. Marching is one thing, but we don't hold with hippie chanting.
That's about it for interesting things that have been happening. Have some Links of Excellence to make your time spent on the Internet more worthwhile.
This animation is only so-so, but I really like the song that goes along with it. Good stuff.
This is absolutely amazing. You listen to it for a little bit and you think, Hey, that's kind of neat, they made some music with that crap Windows sound program. Then you listen to it longer, and it gets more and more amazing. Excellent stuff.
If you're just sitting around killing time, this game is wonderful. It's creative, it's well done, it's tricky yet do-able. I approve. Takes a while to play, though, so it's only useful if you've got a lot of time to waste.
Here we have a cat song and animation that's just retarded enough to make me love it. Yeah, there's not really much more to it than that. It's pretty old, so I may have posted it before, but I was strolling through my old bookmarks and recalled how much I was amused by it.
And here's another kitty song and animation, this one by b3ta's very own Rob. We all love him to bits, of course, but I have to admit that the man can't sing. It's OK, though. Kittens! My favorite bit is the ickle siamese kitten saying "I promise for the last time no more booze".
One last link. This is Fancyteeth, the deranged world dreamed up by b3ta's Mr. Mantlepies and subsequently bought by some british tv channel. Is it surreal? Yes. Is it awesome? Yes. I love them all, but my personal favorite is 'Le Cafe'. Er, these are all done in Flash, so they might take a really, really long time to load if your computer isn't that good or your internet connection isn't that fast. But they're definitely worth it. (Corey, if you're reading this, you would love these)
Gah! Work time!
Sunday, April 04, 2004
Well, Eliot Garbauskas has gone and created the perfect character for notebook doodling. It's easy to make him look correct when all you have at hand is a pen and lots of boredom, and you can make him saying inane things or interacting with random characters, and it's perfectly true to the comic.
If you look through his stuff the guy is clearly a master of pen and ink landscapes, which endears him to me (being an obsessive proponent of the mighty pen and ink myself). And he went to UMass, so it may not be Tom Brady or Arthur Miller, but now all you UMass kids from back home can have something to be proud of.
In other news.
This weekend was fantastical. Up until Sunday, anyways. But Friday and Saturday were quite good, so they make up for the Insane Sleeping and Workfest that has been today.
Friday night was the Huge End of the Year Art Show Opening, at the WORK, Slusser, Robbins, and Hallway galleries. Ah, was it ever a good time. Heather and I went to dinner at the Chinese restaurant over by Bubble Tea. Afterwards we noticed this bizarre concept of a store across the street... a combination liquor store and laundromat. Utterly bemused by this idea, we naturally had to go in and see what it was about.
It turned out to be small, eclectic (liquor, ping pong balls, porn, marshmallows, and indeed a laundromat in the back), and run by an extremely creepy guy. We bought some candy, just for form's sake, and as we were paying he grinned at us (favoring us with a shake of his lank and greasy hair) and asked, "So. What are you ladies up to tonight?"
After a noncommittal reply of "Who knows?" and a hasty retreat we burst into hysterical laughter, which lasted all the way around the corner and down South U., until we got to the diag and managed to calm ourselves. It is a wonderful world in which such establishments can exist.
the infamous little store
After that we made our way down to the WORK gallery on State Street. There were a few really good pieces there, including one painting I really liked, and a couple of fabric pieces that were well done. The best bit, of course, was Chip's art van out in front of the gallery. I can't really describe the whole concept behind it, but suffice it to say that it was cool. I got a few Green Van Stickers from him too, which was good.
We then headed up North, that being where the rest of the galleries are. It was an excellently bizarre crowd. Very few art students showed up... it was mostly professors, graduate students, people who were probably alumni, the art school prerequisite At Least One Guy Who Shows Up in a Dress, and a large number of the Ann Arbor Artsy. I love these people. They are in no way, shape or form affiliated with the art school, but they show up in droves for all the gallery openings, solemnly decked out in their severe black finery. They wander around slowly, eating the free hors d'oeuvres and gravely regarding the bad student art. They are, in short, fucking hilarious.
This was especially wonderful during Ken Butler's performance... he's a New York artist who's currently a professor at the art school, and his whole schtick revolves around making musical instruments out of found objects. So he was standing on his little platform, noodling away on a toothbrush with a microphone attached to it, and these Ann Arbor Artsy people were standing around idly brushing their sweaters and nodding soberly to one another. Come on! He's making screechy noises with a toothbrush! It's funny!
There was a piece by a grad student in the upstairs Robbins gallery which consisted of a large well-shaped pile of green bricks. There was a video playing which showed the well in various public places (on a street corner, in a supermarket), and peoples amusing reactions to it. The artist was present and was encouraging people to take a brick home with them, which Heather and I obviously did. So I now have a green brick sitting in my room. I love it lots.
We saw a gentleman at the opening who looked almost exactly like Jonny Depp. It was amazing. He was very well dressed and had an intricate camera, so we think he may have been some sort of reporter, but we were desperately hoping that he was affiliated with the art school, so we'd see him around again. He was, to put it mildly, wicked attractive.
Err, lots more stuff occurred, like running into Danny and Abbas a lot later that night on Central Campus and making them jealous of our green bricks, but I just noticed the time and I still have a little work to do before bed. Pictures of the show can be seen here, and I suggest you have a look, as they are quite marvelous.
So Saturday was the Hash Bash, which essentially means that the campus (especially the diag and State Street) was overrun with hippies and other marijuana-loving folk. The place was mobbed, since it was such a nice day out. People were wearing necklaces of pot leaves and sitting on blankets in the grass with drums. I saw, inexplicably, at least 5 digeridoos. Everyone was just out having a mellow good time, and although it was crazy to see that many nonuniversity people in the university bit of Ann Arbor, it did lend the campus a sort of pleasant carnival feel for a day.
I would say more but verily, I must trot.
Vork (fellow b3tan) draws good pictures, a la exploding dog. They can be found here and are well worth a look, although I'm not sure how many will make sense if you aren't a b3tan. But they're funny by all accounts.