Sunday, August 29, 2004
Tonight there was nothing going on, as is usual. Matt and Noah came over to show me some clips of their documentary (about which I gather I am not allowed to speak on here until such time as the thing's been released), and in a fit of boredom we picked up Jess and went driving around for a bit.
We ended up in Nahant, where we saw upon the road something we were convinced was a noose. Naturally, we made Noah go out and pick it up. It turned out, disappointingly, to be a length of lobster trap rope that was lying in the road in a noose-like shape. Alas.
Then it was time to drive around Salem, including a jaunt down a random road that Noah insisted we go down. It took us through some trees and into this bizarre condo community thing set way back from the main road. It was a terrifying little cluster of scary suburbia and we had to leave very quickly.
For unknown reasons, we went into Fantasy Island and listened to bad, bad karaoke--we couldn't go into the actual bar, since none of us except for Matt was 21, but it didn't much matter, as you could hear the horrible singing quite clearly. Sitting inside all day and editing the documentary doesn't seem to be doing much for Noah's state of mind, as he seemed to be entirely insane. If I didn't know that he hadn't had anything to drink or smoke that night I would have been convinced that he was either drunk or high. Or possibly both.
Noah does something annoying.
Matt says, "Noah! Shut the fuck up!" and pokes Noah to reinforce his point.
Noah says, "Quit it! I LOVE SCIENCE."
I have no idea.
He also kept trying to set fire to his beef teriyaki sticks by sticking them in the little warming flame thing. At one point he discovered a Panera Bread receipt that had fallen out of Matt's pocket. The number of on it was 666, which prompted Noah to exclaim, "666! THE DEVIL IS IN YOU!" He then did something to annoy Matt, who pushed him right out of the booth and onto the floor, where he lay weakly giggling for a few seconds before getting back up.
The moral of the story is either 'Don't go to Fantasy Island' or 'Don't let Noah sit inside all day working on a computer'. Or possibly 'Thank God Matt was driving' (since Noah was clearly too hyperactive and insane to be behind the wheel).
That new Interpol song 'Slow Hands' is terribly good. Terribly, terribly good. I had to listen to the entire Duran Duran Greatest Hits CD to drive it out of my head.
I've been doing a lot of character design lately. Hmm. Yes.
Design © 2004 by me, do not steal or I will set my crazed toothy feline legions on you.
The character is very loosely based on a character I had designed many years ago. The original incarnation was called Bauxite and was part of a group of people who all had powers generally related to, er, geological properties of the rocks or minerals or whatever they were named after. I think he could extrude aluminum daggers from his hands or something. Crikey, I just realized how weird that is. I mean, what kid creates a superhero group whose backstory is rooted in geology? Come to think of it, what kid knows the relationship between aluminum and bauxite? I blame books.
Obviously his backstory has changed quite a lot. As has his appearance... his costume was bright green and yellow before, as opposed to the subdued shades I've got going here. And no coat. And the pattern of stripes was a little different. And, er, I couldn't really draw back then. Not that I can now, but it's all relative.
No stock images went into the making of this little picture, for the record. The background is a picture I took of the Chicago skyline and then mucked about with in Photoshop. I love you, Photoshop.
I also drew this little image for Ryan as an apology for the badness of the guest comic I had done for him. It's the three central characters from his online comic strip, which you probably ought to read, if you haven't already.
Les McClaine has been posting his Johnny Crossbones comic online, and it's been pure artistic gold recently. Damn. I mean... damn. It's just that good.
It being 3:20 in the am, I shall prudently retire for the evening. Goodnight, kids.
Friday, August 27, 2004
Went to the Red Sox/Tigers game tonight with my Dad. The Red Sox won, which made me happy, but then again the Tigers lost, which made me sad. Still, the Tigers are just playing to finish up the season, and the Red Sox are still playing for a possible Wild Card spot, so I guess it all worked out as it should have.
We met a very friendly woman from Ohio who was rooting for the Tigers. She had on a Tigers tshirt and Tigers earrings, so she reacted happily to my Detroit Lions tshirt (let the record state that I was, however, wearing a Red Sox hat). Sadly, she was an Ohio State alum. And she called soda 'pop'. Those are two pretty grievous strikes against her, but she was awfully nice.
Dave was there with his brother, and it turns out that he was only sitting two sections away from me, so he came over before the game to say hi and chat a bit. I went over to his seats after the 7th inning ended to chat again, and to moan about the horrible game that Pudge Rodriguez was having. It's so nice to be able to trot around freely between sections *cough*as opposed to at Michigan games where you get attacked by security if you try to leave your section*cough*.
Egads. I just realized that Dave's birthday is soon (the day before mine, actually). But since he's a year and a day older than me, that means he's going to be 20. Holy frelling cats. My friends are starting to turn 20. That's... that's old. It doesn't even sound right. Aargh. Of course I have friends who are already in their 20s, but it's one thing when you meet them and they're that old. It's a horse of quite another color when the friends you grew up with start turning 20. Meep!
I just got my address for this coming year today, so if you'd like it, drop me a line. I'm not dumb enough to post it online or stick it in my AIM profile, and I'd suggest that those of you who have your addresses in your blogs or AIM profiles take 'em out. Come on people. Basic, basic security. Sigh.
Back to school shopping has begun, sadly... perhaps a bit late, as I drive up next Thursday (if September 2nd is next Thursday, anyways), but so it is. Since I had managed to completely mangle every pair of jeans I owned, I got a couple new pairs. This is a very good thing, as I've been living in sweatpants all summer. Well. Not that I don't do that at school, but now at least I have the option.
I also got four new CDs, since I don't listen to the radio in Ann Arbor and there simply aren't any stores there that compare in prices and selection to Newbury Comics (and of course you can't get local-- Boston -- bands out there). I picked up Red Bedroom by the Fever, Hot Fuss by the Killers, Goodbye to All That by Rubyhorse, and Put Out by Baby Strange. They're all quite enjoyable, I must say.
Naturally the Killers stuff is a little more mainstream (Somebody Told Me and Mr. Brightside), but it's pretty good for all that. Some of the songs on the Rubyhorse CD are a little sedate, but the more I listen to it the more I like it. I know they were part of a free concert at the Hatch this summer, but it was the same day as a Red Sox game that I went to with Jess, and we were both a little too tired after the game to drag ourselves into the middle of a concert (especially after the mess that was the Dispatch concert).
The Baby Strange CD is probably the one I like best right now, but that also means I'll probably get tired of it the quickest. Eh, whatever. Great stuff. So very local. Their sound is generally described as a combination of 1960s British arena-rock (whatever that is) and Motown... having listened to the CD quite a few times already, I can't really dispute that. Although that could have something to do with my not quite knowing what a combination of those two things is supposed to sound like. Ah well.
The Fever CD is also very good, with a very diverse sound, so you don't get annoyed that all the songs sound the same. I was looking for their website (which, by the by, is here) and happened upon some of the Amazon reviews for this CD. I don't quite know what to say, except that this band has some weird, weird fans. For lack of more coherent adjectives, I'll just resort to reproducing some segments here.
"It's like if you took Devo, locked them in a room with 15 hungry badgers, and said 'Write some songs for us.'" I'm actually not sure this is accurate. If you locked Devo in a room with 15 hungry badgers, I think you'd get a CD full of strangled screams and frantic scrabbling noises, which this definitely isn't. Badgers are nastier than most people give them credit for. Hmm. Secret evil overtones to Hufflepuff? God, that was pretty dorky.
"The album is sofa king amazing, I skeeted on the Kenwood and my pet bandicoot." I have no idea what this means. It might be some secret Amazon-album-commenting code that I'm not privvy to, but then again this person could just be insane. I get the 'sofa king' bit, but the rest of it is lost on me (bandicoot?).
"If Billy Idol and Nicky Sixx beat up the rest of the Beach Boys, kidnapped Brian Wilson and took him to every dirty bar in Mexico before locking him in a studio for three days with nothing but old porno mags, Red Bedroom is the album he'd make....If you've ever tried to wash a regrettable night out of your soul with a shower and some mouth wash, only to find yourself reveling about it a week later and returning to the scene of the crime, The Fever is your band and Red Bedroom is your soundtrack." This could be the greatest Amazon album review ever written. No further comment needed.
Possibly you should all run out and get this CD just so that you can count yourself a member of this elite little slice of humanity.
Also! Michael Phelps will be attending the University of Michigan starting this winter term! Not fall term, because I think he'll still be wrapped up in Olympic goings-on when it starts. He's going because his coach is going to be working there, and obviously he can't swim for Michigan since he's accepted endorsements and whatnot. But he'll be working with the prestigious Michigan club swimming team, Club Wolverine, of which Tom Malchow (another Olympic swimmer) is already a member. Cor. Apparently Michigan is good at swimming. Who knew?
US News ranks the country's colleges, and puts Michigan in at 22, tied with Carnegie Mellon and U VA. Not that I'm smug or anything. Heh. For those who are interested, here are the rankings of schools I know people at (unless I forgot someone):
1. Harvard (naturally)
11. Northwestern (above Michigan, and not an Ivy. Eh. Dave is allowed greater levels of smugness)
13. Brown (below Northwestern. Iiiiiinteresting)
22. University of Michigan-- Ann Arbor
32. Brandeis and NYU (tie)
37. BC and Lehigh (tie)
62. Ohio State (note how far it is below Michigan. Hee hee)
71. Michigan State (sorry Sara, but it's so)
74. Clark University
90. University of Vermont
98. University of Massachusetts-- Amherst and UNH (tie)
And there the listing ends. I do tend to think this list is a bit inaccurate, though. You probably ought to take it with a grain of salt. Much as I love Michigan, I have my doubts as to it's being a better school overall than Georgetown (and I don't just say that because the genius that is Leslie goes there). I'm also a little wary of Northwestern being above both Brown and Cornell, but who knows. I do sort of love the fact that Renssalaer Polytechnic (sort of like MIT) is tied at 46 with the Yeshiva University, though.
MassArt wasn't on there, but I don't think they rank art schools. Kate... erm. Well. I don't know what to say, I've no idea where Skidmore was. I'd imagine that it should be in there somewhere though, since it's clearly a better school that Northeastern or the Michigan Technological University (which are tied for 120). Possibly I didn't see it.
Interestingly, in the rankings of top public schools, Michigan is number two (!), tied with UVA and below UCal-- Berkeley. Nice.
OK, it's a stupid ranking thing and probably means very little in Real Life and no one should pay any attention to it in the least. but at 1:20 am it amuses me and I'll put it in the blog if I catdamned want to.
Starting to get belligerent in blog. Time for sleep.
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
I should really stop prefacing each entry with an apology for having not blogged for so long. The solution, I suppose, would be to blog more often. You may put your minds at ease, for I shall be returning to school shortly, and then I should be blogging more regularly. Note: Link to an enormous photo album (Chicago trip, polo game, picnic, Lowell Spinners game) is somewhere near the bottom of this blog, so you'll just have to read through it all :) .
Quite a bit has been going on since I last wrote. As was previously mentioned, my family went on vacation to Chicago. Now, I knew that Chicago was supposed to be a pretty good city, as cities go. But no one had told me how UTTERLY FRIKKING AMAZING it was. I especially blame Dave, who goes to Northwestern and therefore should have known enough to inform me of this fact.
The architecture in Chicago caused me to go into a frenzied state of excitement. The Wrigley building! The Tribune Tower! The Corn Cobs! The Merchandise Mart! Oh! Oh! Oh! I die of the architecture. Just walking around the city you got to see these things. Of course, we also did an architecture tour on a boat that went down the Chicago River (which runs through the city). My brother may have bitterly resented the fact that we chose this particular activity, but I enjoyed it to an almost obscene level.
The hotel we were staying at was the W. It was cool. Seriously cool. Cool in the sense that the lobby was about as modern as it is possible to be, with giant video screens showing underwater shark videos flanking the steel elevators, an artfully lit bar with a swanky lounge behind it, shimmering screens of sequins hanging from the ceiling, giant arcing floor lamps, crazily organic chairs made out of one continuous piece of wood, and so on. It looked very much like the entire place had been decorated using furniture from Design Within Reach, or another comparable establishment.
The part that made me actually lose my mind in the face of it's sheer awesomeness, however, was the hallway that our room was on. Everyone is familiar with the standard hotel corridor... bland walls, unobtrusively bright lighting, etc. Ah, but no such mundanity for the W! The hallways here are decked out in dark colors, with little trays of rocks acting as a kind of decorative wainscoting. The doors are black, and the room numbers are printed in bright red on the carpet in front of each room(!). Most of the lighting in the hall comes from alternating white and pink lights aimed at the floor. The effect is ridiculous enough to be completely incredible. Too awesome.
We were only in Chicago for a few days, but we got quite a lot done. We visited the brand new Millenium Park, which has to be one of the best public spaces I've ever seen. The Gehry-designed concert hall is truly spectacular, and I can only imagine how great it would be to actually see someone play there. We went to the Field Museum of Natural History (home to one of the best jade collections in the world, the Hall of Jade, or the Hall of I'm Going to Kill Myself, according to my brother, who isn't exactly transported to lofty heights by the idea of such things) and the Art Institute of Chicago. The Art Institute had a pretty big surrealism section, with some very nice Magrittes. Heck, they had Time Transfixed! So I was rendered happy.
We also went to the Chicago Zoo, which had a lot of Big Cats to keep me happy (lions--sleeping, leopards-- sitting up on rocks, snow leopards-- pacing, cougar-- pacing). There was a large enclosure of chimpanzees with plexiglass on the side where you could view them. One of the chimps had smeared a large amount of its own feces onto this plexiglass, which was just wonderful. There were crazy nectar-eating bats that were clambering around using their little bat claws, a lot of very playful wild dogs, trumpeter swans that made an amazing trumpeting sound when they honked in unison, and some deceptively cute otters gamboling (why is it that the words 'otter' and 'gamboling' so often are linked together?).
There was also a pygmy hippo who walked underwater with a hilarious slow-motion gait that sent my brother and dad into near hysterics. It was quite excellent to watch. It also had a very determined look on its face, which added to its hippo-ish appeal. Later in the day, my brother was musing about the obvious need to steal the pygmy hippo so that we could take it home. My dad, attempting to insert reason into the conversation, said,
Dad: "Well, the problem with the hippo is that--"
Eli: "There is no problem with the hippo. The hippo is flawless."
Yes. We all liked the zoo.
We also saw a White Sox game at US Cellular Field. It would've been nicer to see the Cubs, but the tickets are harder to get, and the Tigers were playing the White Sox anyways. I have to admit to being entirely unimpressed with US Cellular Field. The stadium itself was completely unremarkable-- not old and nice, like Fenway, or new and nice, like Comerica. Perhaps the only thing about the field that could catch someone's interest were the multicolored pinwheels that were all over the place. I have absolutely no idea what the pinwheel has to do with anything, but it seemed to be some sort of White Sox symbol. If someone from Chicago can explain this to me, please, feel free to do so.
Also worrying was the Margarita guy. Most ballparks have beer vendors, but I hadn't seen a Margarita vendor before. He was walking up and down the aisles with what looked like a Ghost Busters-style cannister backpack, with a hose attached to it. He was shooting Margaritas out of this hose and into plastic cups. It might have been the absolute height of classlessness, but it was awfully funny.
Perhaps most astonishingly, we flew into and out of OHare airport, and both ways the flight was on time. Of course, because nothing can ever be easy with my family, we badly miscalculated the amount of time it would take us to drive from our house to Providence airport (we couldn't get flights out of Logan) and arrived at the airport exactly 15 minutes before our flight was supposed to leave. After getting through the huge line to check in, we had exactly 5 minutes. Oh, wait. Still have to get through security. We go through security. I get stopped and hand searched. My brother gets stopped and hand searched. My dad gets stopped and hand searched. We now have exactly no time until the flight leaves. We ran to the gate (which was, thankfully, right near security). The door was already closed and locked. Turns out the flight attendants were holding it as long as they possibly could, on the off chance that we would show up. Thank cats. They unlocked it, and on the plane we got, after having had the most stressful airport experience I can ever recall. From now on I'm planning to be at the airport a good solid two hours before my flight.
Quite a bit has been going on since we got back from Chicago. People started leaving for school already. Brian's gone off to Lehigh. Jason and the rest of the Syracuse crew have headed out. Maddie's back at McGill early because, in her infinite insanity, she's helping out at orientation. Corey and the Raw Arts folk finished the music video they were making for the band the Pernice Brothers. I got to see it, it came out great. Very funny and well-shot.
What else has been happening?
Clockwise from top left: sculpture in Millenium Park in Chicago, polo players at the Myopia Hunt Club in Hamilton, Kate and Jess with a picnic basket on Marblehead Neck, batter for the Lowell Spinners.
The polo game was something that Kate and I had been wanting to do all summer. The Myopia Hunt Club in Hamilton (or possibly Wenham, they're much the same in my mind) has polo games every Sunday afternoon, weather permitting, but we hadn't been able to go due to Kate's job. Finally, this past Sunday, we made our way up. It was bizarre, like stepping into some other world, but it was a terribly good time.
There were a lot of very visibly rich people there (well, it was a polo game), with their expensive convertibles and obsessively pressed slacks. Amusingly, a number of them set up little wood folding tables next to their cars and lawn chairs and broke out wine glasses. Into which they poured wine. I don't know, it was funny. I'm used to baseball or football games, where people drink beer, but a sporting event where everyone is sipping delicately from wine glasses... it was a different sort of scene.
At half-time they invited everyone out onto the field for the ceremonial Divot Stomp. This is when the crowd goes out and stamps down the clods of dirt and grass that the polo ponies kick up during the course of the game-- the field is a lot safer for the ponies with the divots stamped down. It was pretty fun. Many people had their dogs running around on the field without leashes on, and one daschund (apparently named Nutmeg), for some occult doggy reason of its own, went insane. It started racing madly about, yipping and biting at other dogs. People were dodging out of its way. At one point it tore up to some little white poodley type of dog and starting menacing it. The poodley dog's owner charged the daschund, and when it still acted like it was aiming to eat poodley dog for dinner, the owner went into a protective frenzy and kicked it. The daschund went flying, landed, scrabbled to its feet, and went off to harass a bigger dog. Ah, how I laughed.
There was a family sitting in front of us who seemed to be more or less normal (i.e. not filthy rich members of the Myopia Hunt Club). The father kept trying to clean up the youngest child, who had had a red popsicle and was therefore coated in an indelible red dye. The older one kept running up to the edge of the field whenever a ball came over so that he could 'get a souvenir'. They were amused by my purse, which has a big photo collage thing of my teams on it (Patriots, Red Sox, Dolphins, Red Wings, Lions. Of coures). The names of the kids, bizarrely, were Lucas and Raphael.
Despite the fact that I knew not a single thing about polo, beyond the fact that it was played on horses, I managed to have a good time. The weather was perfect, Kate explained most of it, and it was just a peculiar but good time.
Last night Jess, Kate and I decided that it was so nice out that we needed to have a picnic dinner. So we went down to the little park by the lighthouse on Marblehead Neck with a basket full of foodish goodness, and we had ourselves a picnic. Excepting the mosquitos, it was fun. A swallow was swooping around about a foot off the ground for a while, acrobatically picking off bugs, and at one point it almost swiped Kate with its wingtips. I laughed. She shrieked. Delighful. We went down a little before sunset, and we left shortly after it got really dark, because locals like to drive down to the lighthouse at night for romantic purposes, and we didn't particularly wish to witness any of that sort of thing.
Tonight my family went to a Lowell Spinners game. The Spinners are a single-A farm team for the Red Sox, and the games are always amazing. The crowd was more excited about being at a baseball game than they had been at US Cellular. Fun stuff goes on in between innings, like people in big stuffed suits jousting or sumo wrestling, contests, and the frisbee-catching dogs.
Tonight it was the Spinners vs. the New Jersey Cardinals (a farm team for, surprise surprise, the Cardinals). The level of play was pretty good, and it was fun to watch, especially as our seats were in the first row, right on top of the Cardinals dugout. The game was tied at 1 when we left after the 10th inning, but according to the Spinners website, Lowell won 2-1 in the 11th. Huzzah.
Since the walls of the park aren't all that high, a lot of the foul balls that were hit tonight went right out of the park and into the street outside it. As we were leaving for the car, a foul ball landed a ways ahead of us in the road. My dad began charging up to it, racing with some other adults and some kids. It was pretty mortifying. But then he got the ball and gave it to me, so I'm not about to complain :) .
OK, it's now 2:25 am and while I may still be awake, I think my brain is starting to shut down as far as writing is concerned. Here are the photos from Chicago, the polo game, the picnic, and the Spinners game. You'll want to take a look at them, there are quite a lot in there, and they've been painstakingly captioned, each and every one. Yes. You know you want to see them all.
Until the next, mes amis.
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Has it been ages since I last posted? Yes. This is partly due to the insane steak of artfulness I have been in lately (MUST TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE URGE TO DRAW WHILE IT LASTS!) and partly due to the fact that I've tried to write this entry several times over the past week and half, and every time the computer has frozen partway through, thus causing me to lose the entry and lose heart at the same time. Let us hope this does not occur now.
Ryan Estrada, as I have said about 8 million times in here, is one of the coolest and nicest people on the Interweb today. He is so nice that he has raised Niceness up to the level of a super power, like flying, or the ability to shoot laser beams from your eyes. Anyways, he is taking a break from his online comic, Gamer's Edge, to publish a book (!) while he's in Korea. To fill the space, he's having people make guest comics. Each one focuses on an established character in his comic. I made one, which you may view here. It is rather unfortunate and hastily done (I was still in classes at MassArt when I drew it, and as such was somewhat pressed for time) and I feel sort of bad about it, so I might have to draw up something nice for him and send it along to make up for that. Ah well.
Look! Les McLaine made a tutorial! I must try some of his computer coloring techniques, they look about 20 times easier than what I've been doing. The man is like some kind of drawing monster of awesomeness.
Oh, joy. A brand new kung fu theater masterpiece from the mind and computer of Weebl, for you to enjoy.
Also, it seems as though Joel Veitch has simultaneously found a new music-making toy to play with, and lost his mind. The proof is this highly disturbing Internet offering. Be sure to watch it all the way through, now.
The most hilarious thing I've seen on the internet recently would have to be this Harry Potter livejournal community. It's one of an apparently large number of 'role playing' things, which normally would send me running for the hills, but this one is funny enough to be worth a read. If you go all the way down to the bottom you get the first entry, which explains the concept. Essentially, due to a curse or something, parchment can no longer be used at Hogwarts. So everyone's been given a laptop and a livejournal account, and the students and teachers communicate via the internet.
It. Is. Hilarious. There's a tenuous storyline running through it (the Macarena is a curse caused by Voldemort), but the hilarious bits are the interactions. It's not done seriously, like the really creepy RPG communities, but instead keeps a healthy tounge-in-cheek attitude. Harry does all of his entries in caps, because he's so angsty and angry. Dumbledore recommends cigarettes and communal baths as relaxants. Snape and Lupin are in a 'relationship' and call each other 'Sevviekins' and 'Remmipoo'. Minor characters in the books get a chance to shine here, like the moronically girly Lavender Brown, the permanently drunk Seamus Finnigan, or the disco-loving Crabbe.
The friends view is here, and that's where you can see the most recent posts made by community members. If you've got an empty afternoon or evening somewhere, read through it. Read the comments. Read the entries. It's frikking hilarious. Seriously. And did I mention the amusing usernames? Alpha_aconite is Lupin. Cedeadric is Cedric Diggory, making entries as a reanimated corpse (I'm a little unclear on this one). Shouldteachdada is Snape. Plugsplugsplugs are the Weasely parents. Purebloodyay is Lucius Malfoy-- I imagine this one with a little exclamation point at the end, and am amused.
My favorite conversations so far: Snape and Lucius Malfoy expressing their deep sympathy for the Muggles afflicted by the 'horrible curse'. I giggled aloud at points.
Harry reminding everyone that it is his birthday. Apparently this is the date indicated in the books as his birthday. Here he is somewhat bitter about no one remembering.
Voldemort's poem. Yes, Voldemort is on here. The poem is surprisingly clever and well-done, and made me choke on my laughter the first time I read it (I was choking because it was around 3 am and I was attempting to not wake anyone up, see).
I am aware that it's been quite a while since I last posted, and this means that lots of things have been going on here. I'll go over what I can remember here.
Leslie came into town for a couple of nights, and we all went to the Dispatch concert at the Hatch Shell in Boston. Hoo boy. It was crowded. I mean really, really, really crowded. They were expecting a crowd of around 30,000 to show up, and they got a crowd of around 100,000. They had to enact an emergency shutdown of Storrow Drive, as people were spilling out onto it. There were parts near the Hatch Shell where you literally could not move due to solid mass of people.
It did not help that a) I'm not even really a Dispatch fan in the first place, b) all of Massachusetts suburbia appears to have showed up for this-- including most of Swampscott High, and c) it was one of the hottest days of the summer. Uuurrrggh.
After a few hours spent in the sweaty press of white people (it was, frighteningly, the most uniformly white concert I've ever seen) a group of us split off from the hardcore Dispatch fans and retreated to the lawns further down Storrow Drive. There were still many people there, but at least you had room to breathe and space to sit. We then spent a couple of hours trying desperately to cool down in the stagnant air, every so often getting up to grab a free dixie cup of Nantucket Nectars (they were sponsoring the ill-prepared event), watching the police race up and down the little canals of the Charles River on jetskis.
I had a long phone arguement with Tom, who called to ask if I knew anyone in the herpetology department at Michigan (I don't) or the mammalogy department (I do) for a project we may or may not be doing. Since Mike is apparently still in Brazil (he went down there to do some study program this summer) I told him to call Trevor and bother him about it. He then threatened to try and go through the icthyology department, but between the two of us (Trevor and I) we managed to beat him down. So far all of our collective experiences with the icthyology people have involved morons.
Anyways, eventually the heat and the crowds got to be too much for those of us with delicate constitutions, so a group of us left Boston, shaking our fists in defiant defeat at the unapproachable Hatch. It was certainly an Experience, in the sense that it's an Experience I have no desire to repeat any time soon.
As I said, most of what I've been doing lately is drawing. After that MassArt anatomy class I got an enormous burst of people-drawing desire, and it's been cramping my phalanges ever since. Most of it's been comic book-y stuff, and a lot of it's been character design. I have also, however, gotten a package of tshirt transfer paper that seems to work pretty well, so I've been scribbling up some tshirt designs for my own personal amusement.
The one I've been needing for ages is a Michigan Art and Design one. Because on campus you can buy Michigan Law tshirts, Michigan Architecture, Michigan Drama, Michigan English, Michigan ANYTHING, but for some obscure and unfathomable reason you cannot get Michigan Art and Design. No one has any idea why. It pisses me off to no end. So I knocked out my own, slightly crap design. Eh. I'll probably wear it anyways.
This is the design, see.
So far the only other designs I have are these:
1) A poorly drawn wolverine in blue and yellow is reclining and picking his teeth on top of a sprawled and poorly drawn Spartan in green and white. Text reads "Rivalry: it's a Michigan thing". Referring, of course, to the Michigan/Michigan State rivalry. This is a pretty awful design, but it was my tester, so meh.
2) I *heart* Drosophila melanogaster. Accompanied by a little inked drawing of a fruit fly. Ah, biology humor. I quite like this one, I look forward to wearing it around and confusing people.
Before the DNC (Democratic National Convention) ended, I went in with Corey and Jason. We originally were going in so that Corey and I could draw the crazy people (Jason was just along for the heck of it), but it ended up being such a madhouse in the city that we couldn't resist joining in. It was hideous piles of fun. We held up Kerry/Edwards signs and cheered behind the MSNBC desk, we walked down to the protest zone by the Fleet Center, we went into the Cage of Free Speech, we witnessed the insanity that were the protestors at Faneuil Hall.
When we were down in the main protesting area Corey and Jason got stopped by a woman and a photographer. The woman was apparently the president of DemDates.com, a liberal online dating service. Since both Corey and Jason had big signs, they got their photo taken with the president-lady to represent a couple of strapping young eligible democrats. I doubled over with mirth. Amazing.
We strolled all around that area, since it was such a nice day out. We went to visit the seals outside the Aquarium-- they were sunning themselves on the rocks and being infinitely cute. They have such great faces. Corey claimed to be disturbed by their very intelligent looks and gestures. Everyone who finds themselves in that part of Boston should go visit the seals. I generally make a point of dragging people down there because, I mean, come on people. Seals!
Faneuil Hall was filled with crazy protesting folk and crazy space-invading media folk and slightly bemused-looking police folk. There was a gentleman wearing a bloody doctor's coat and holding a giant sign with what he claimed was an aborted fetus on it. It was a truly disgusting image, so I didn't want to look at it too closely, but sheer proximity forced me to examine it to a certain degree. Well. It was gross, yes, and it was a baby, yes, very clearly dead. But it wasn't an aborted fetus. It was, pretty evidently, a dead full-term baby. Who knows under what circumstances the baby had died, but it certainly wasn't due to abortion. Sigh. Not only is the anti-abortion lobby hideously unsubtle, they can't even get biologically accurate images for their shocker posters.
There were also people in Faneuil Hall with colonial costumes on, and a giant cloth Declaration of Independence, which they proudly unrolled and displayed on the steps of Quincy Market to a small crowd of onlookers. There was a small girl who had been decked out in red, white, blue, and Kerry gear. This delightful child was being happily exploited by her mother, who steered her forcefully towards all video and photographic cameras in the area. And there were police. Lots and lots of police. Boston police, Massachusetts state police, Boston park police, MBTA police, and so on.
Photos from the glorious event may be viewed here. I suggest that you look at them, for they are most excellent. At the end of the album there are some photos from my family's trip to Mass MoCA, the best art museum in the history of ever. Good times.
The other night Jason, Corey, Dave, Noah, Jess and I were bored (as is usual). Lacking anything more stimulating to do, we wandered into a park in Marblehead, down some treacherously unlit steps (only afterwards did I remember that, ever since the debacle in the woods, I always carry a flashlight in my bag), and onto a small dock in Marblehead harbor. The night was very pleasant, so it was enjoyable sitting there, except when the ladder connecting us to land would creak ominously. And Noah kept saying things like "I can just see a pair of HANDS coming up over the edge there, and DRAGGING YOU DOWN", which didn't help to ease one's mind.
Upon reflection, we probably weren't supposed to be on the dock, especially not in the middle of the night, but hey. It's not as though we were doing damage to anyone or anything. You would think that the local police would actually be happy that kids were spending their evenings sitting on a dock in the harbor, as opposed to getting stonkered and throwing eggs at the Fish House or somesuch activity.
I recently burned my mother's Greatest Hits of Duran Duran CD, and have been listening to it quite often. I enjoy it. A lot. Does this make me a bad person? I feel like it violates some kind of anti-80s-music-college-student law.
OK, that's quite long enough for a blog. Tomorrow I'm heading into Boston with Jess for the Red Sox game (you're going down, Tampa Bay!), and next week the family is off to Chicago, so I will hopefully have things to report after that.
Until the next, mes amis.