Let’s Get Meta, Return

August 31, 2010

Okay, first post of the new school year, senior year, busy year.  I think I managed a half-assed attempt a week or two ago but that was a week or two ago.  Things have happened.  Things are happening.  Things, things, things.  My shoes have worn to dust.  Nearly.  Bandanas keep sweat out of my hair on a day to day basis; it has been hot, uncomfortably hot.  University is in, so why is summer still here?  Cue “hear, hear” echoes in the background.  Er, or am I the only one who looks forward to Fall?  The Swedish turn to Spring took so long I just need to see the other side, but I digress (purposefully, yes, but still).

Classes: Writing Ethnography, Poetry Workshop, Shakespeare, Environmental Biology (sadly, this last is lecture).  Needless to say, I will be reading and writing; they always make me do that in these classes.  Lots and lots, and lots of writing is a good thing, though, a cathartic thing.  Looks like I have a nice chance to get zen on the semester.  Not take it easy, but groove.

Good to see so many familiar faces of the Uni, Urbana area (and visitors, too — can’t forget my buddy Sweet in for the weekend nor Kyle and Kristi who I visited).  Hello to new students, too.  May we have a wonderful year, and ones to come (grad apps also on the plate — Portland, Iowa, Berkley? — oh, and GRE).

Anyway, before the year gets too far underway I wanted to share a recent poem (one of many).  I know this is a rare occasion, for me to be posting my actual poetry, instead of just talking about it, that you, dear readers, get too much meta-assumption, or just pretty pictures, but today you get poetry.  This particular piece was inspired by a friend of mine who taught me this fact.  I’d just bought this winter hat, and, being the hipster I represent, I wore it in irony of the summer season; my friend then warned me how her parents might think I’d loosened more than a few screws, and asked that, for her parents’ sake, I remove the hat.  Cool.  Enjoy:

“Absurdity of Seasons”

they say inability to effectively measure one’s own bodily
temperature is a sure-fire sign of insanity, that something
up there has certainly and perhaps inexorably, fatally
cracked, a case study of the schizophrenic category, well
here i am with a woolen tibetan hat, gunning to assault my sanity
upon the university

yes. i am aware of
the month and of the
the heat and that is
precisely why instead
i wear no pants.

Fin.  And now for some photos collected during these first few back-to-school days:

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Listening to: LOTS of fantastic music.  Menomena almost nonstop.  Just bought Mines.


Welcome to Pt. III

August 9, 2010

In the third and final installment of my Tour de East adventure, I found myself in Ann Arbor, Michigan, visiting an old friend from my home town, Daniel.  We did some fair wandering around the downtown area, spent Saturday afternoon searching for geocaches, then popped over to Lansing / MSU to see another of Daniel’s buddies.  He showed off his motorcycle, describing the number and varieties of ways he has crashed it, and then we drank some Canadian brews.  On Sunday we made the hungover drive back to Ann Arbor, and from there Daniel to Canada and myself to Urbana.  Feels funny to be back, too quiet.  It’s been good to see so many of my good friends.

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Welcome to Pt. II

August 5, 2010

New York, New York.  Mar and I took the Bolt Bus to the city, I reunited with my friend Mari, hit the Met, dive bar with hotdogs, Central Park, some West side thrifting, metro after metro, and lived the Bronx all in 24 hours.  Never sleeps indeed.  But now I am in quiet Arlington, a quick visit to my cousin Becky and her husband Bret while I’m out here, where I do hope to catch some z’s.  In fact, I feel them creeping up on me, so again I will let the pictures do the talking (they are, by the way, chronological, depicting the journey from Savage to NY and beyond):

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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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Arts & Crafts Night

June 30, 2010

First time seeing many of my good friends from UofI again tonight.  Let me tell you, Urbana is the place to be living; we had an arts & crafts night.  We made masks.  Things got very paint-y.

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Listening to: My new Fever Ray vinyl — good morning, me.


June 23, 2010

After six months in Sweden, I’m finally home.  These first few days have been a trip to Uncanny Valley, almost as if I’d never left (with one major exception — USA no longer seems to be so atrocious at soccer).  I do, however, seem to be experiencing some reverse culture shock.  When I went to Sweden I was expecting the different, the new, and it wasn’t so shocking.  Coming home after studying anthropology, I now find myself looking through an ethnological spyglass.  Restaurants are loud with a push for turnover and toilets have more water.  The streets are made for machines, not people.  A whole city had been a walk away; now, going next door seems to necessitate use of a car.  I look around, and it’s all the same.  Perhaps only my eyes have changed, gotten wider.  If not for the digital proof of photography, a vague record in the blogosphere, umpteen dozen new Facebook friends from across the globe, Sweden could have been but a dream.  Sure, I picked up some tangible objects as souvenirs and memorabilia, but in today’s global market, they could have come from anywhere.  Even my ukulele, to me the most iconic semblance of my time in Sweden, was made in China.  Well, dream or not, I’ve got a few last photos to share from my time with my family in the Motherland.  Maybe by posting I will get that final needed confirmation that yes it did all really happen, and, with any luck, make my brother look like a goon along the way.

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Yep, that’s it folks.  Sweden isn’t just a fairy tale.  It’s for real.  And it’s awesome.

Now, time to get me some proper Mexican food.

Malmö o Köpenhamn

June 17, 2010

Arrived in Malmö yesterday.  Hopped the train over to Köpenhamn today.  More tourism, more photos.  There are a few more from Ronneby, and I’ve gotten some really glorious distortions.  Enjoy.

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