More Arts, Crafts

July 31, 2010

Had another arts & crafts night at the Nevada Street residence with Shanza and Blauvelt.  Also featuring a disappearing Mr. Byrne.  And, yes, Gillman, I realize I still owe you that CD.  I’ve got a miniature Drakkar Sauna RIBCo poster hung above my desk as a reminder.  Anyway, back to arts & crafts.  While Shanza attempted to bastardize the sanctity of my bandanna with the likeness of one Tigger, I focused on cutting up emo-band magazines to make depressing children’s poetry, a piece which finally earned the title of “scaring kids.”  Here is a cutting edge low-quality image of the poster which, although was on my bed for display, will soon earn a spot on my wall:

Shanza also made me a lovely bracelet.  It already fell apart, though.  So, you know, two points for style, minus several million for good craftsmanship.

And in recent news, I’m about to embark on a roadtrip over to the Washington DC area to visit my friend Mar from Sweden.  She’s not Swedish, she’s Spanish, but lives in America, and I met her in Sweden.  And then up to Canada, or maybe just to Ann Arbor, to spend a weekend with my friend Daniel, who is Canadian, but I met in my hometown and was an integral part of my childhood (i.e. our friendship).  As my current roommate put it, apparently this kind of spur of the moment cross-country driving is rather transcendental.  In any case, the drive will be cathartic.  I’ve got the Don Quixote audiobook queued up and ready to play.  Along the way I also hope to find the world’s biggest ball of twine.  Wish me luck, there will be updates along the way.

Love and peace.


Doing Asbestos We Can

July 22, 2010

My brother stopped in to Urbana this week, Tuesday and Wednesday specifically, his unofficial weekend.  We got some good vinyl shopping and Risk playing in, but the highlight was going out to an abandoned air-force complex with some of his old photog. comrades from the Daily Illini.  I had the secret mission of finding ghosts, which, I’ll tell you right now, didn’t pan out; it’s almost as if they don’t exist.  We did, however, have a chance to egress at a sprint when we thought we heard footsteps following us (apparently it’s illegal to be on the grounds or something, as if we could deface the complex’s already decadent and crumbling guts).  Realistically, it was probably just another group of young explorers, but that’s beside the point.  During our adventure we also: sat on a pile of tires, exploded a fluorescent light-bulb, saved a bird’s life, made a porno (but not really),  and probably inhaled a lot of asbestos.  My photos from the day are meant to highlight that latter fact.

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On Inception

July 16, 2010

Just back from the midnight showing of Christopher Nolan’s Inception.  Fortunately my only pre-show hype was a singular viewing of the trailer a few months back; post-facto I’ve now sifted through what amounts to a whole schlock of fanboy commentary.  Mind-blowing?  Hardly.  It was simply too well constructed to be mind-blowing.  As another reviewer put it, I wanted it to be weirder.  Blame my stoic reception on works like Persona, Inland Empire, Dogville, and (dare I say it) Memento, but I just have trouble swallowing the hype over this film (pre- and post-debut).  That is, the psychological hype.  It certainly held up its promise of thrills.  So here’s my review, simply: Entertaining to boot.  Nothing more, but definitely worth the theater experience.

Project Called Living

July 11, 2010

It’s been a while since I’ve had much to report on, between a case of underdocumented July 4th and an uneventful recent weekend I have been almost completely avoiding the camera and keyboard.  Not good for the creative spirit, I know.  I’ve been busy with this little project called living.  Or, to put a less depressive slant on it — moving to Urbana and readjusting to the American way of life.  First and foremost I have been ordering and listening to an absolutely unnecessary amount of vinyl records, including (but, I am sure, not limited to): The Antler’s, Broken Social Scene’s latest, Bear in Heaven (which I dragged back with me from Sweden, having carefully arranged my luggage for the better portion of two weeks in order not to crush it in transit), Medeski Martin & Wood, Fever Ray, Pavement, and Animal Collective’s older Merriweather.  Plus I have several more (I’ve forgotten which) waiting for me back at the Rock Island ranch.  It’s getting to be a sickness on par with my troubles with books; speaking of which, I picked up David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest.  Seriously, why did no one ever shove this book in front of my lookin-ball-sockets (and their contents) before?  They’ve been locked, loaded, and fired almost exclusively at those pages for the past few days.  I did, however, take a good break to go border-line dumpster diving this afternoon, and earlier still this morning to meet with a former Scan-studies professor who is now moving on from the University of Illinois in order to get yet another PhD (I think she’s collecting; what a role model).  Total bonus of the day: first proper fika since my return to the States (go figure it’d be meeting with a Scan prof).  This also means that I’m only two people away from completing my Coffee Hour Club reunion tour (Holly and Ian, if you are reading this, set aside some time to talk about Dune and/or narwhals and make this happen, respectively).  Now, I was writing something… ah, dumpster diving; yeah, I picked up this sweet (not tasting, but looking) old chair and spent a good chunk of time forcing it through various doors in my apartment.  It’s a bit too ratty looking for me to actually want to sit in, but it certainly adds flavor to the white walls problem that’s been plaguing my apartment since my arrival to Urbana.  And continuing in on that little ‘project called living’ of mine, I’ve been trying to cure that white plague, as it were, with a few decorations.  Here are a few pictures of my progress:

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Any and all help or suggestions or flavor you might have to offer would be accepted with open arms.  I need to cover my walls, people.  Probably the ceiling and floor, too.

Listening to: Cut Your Hair, Pavement