Friday, July 25, 2008

And Away I Go

Heading up to my cottage for a week later tonight.

I seem to have been roped into a new roll as of late. Airport Taxi Service. Not that I mind, of course. It's fun being able to pick up friends coming and going and have some one on one time to talk to them, and hear all the crazy things they've been up to. Tonight before I disappear north I'm picking up my friend Ben from Lansing and bringing him home. He's been in Florida all last week at a band camp training percussion. Next sunday I'm taking my other friend Kate down to Detroit to fly back out to California. She's in town this week for a wedding.

I was down in Ann Arbor last night paying for a place. I've now got the keys, and I am officially moving down on the 16th. Orientation is ten days later. And then begins the great quest for my masters.

While filling out the stuff for orientation I think I found a second specialization I want to go after. Community Informatics (CI) is the name of it. It's focused on the social and political application of Libraries and information centers, and how to better bring it to the people.

And with that (and a lack of anything more interesting to say) I'm off to pack, clean out the car and then skedaddle up to Houghton Lake, from which I will return a week later with a tan, maybe in better shape (if I remember to go for runs), and good memories and photos. See you in a bit.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I Used To Be King

I found an apartment today! Well. Ok let me justify that. I found a basement room in a duplex today! It's pretty awesome. I go down to close the deal Thursday in the evening. Life is good. It's a great deal and it's really close to Central Campus, and not far from North Campus.

While driving down there today I saw the Big House for the first time ever. If I wasn't limited by gas I would've made my pilgrimage to it, but alas, it will have to wait for another day.

Other than that everything is getting around and together for the move down there, and also my week-long vacation up at Houghton Lake next week. I'd warn you that I doubt I'll be able to make any blog posts up there, but I'm notorious for forgetting long stretches of time.

In other random news, to make this blog post seem semi worth-while, I got my hands on the new Coldplay album, Viva la Vida. It's amazing, and the title track is phenomenal.

Ok, I've got nothing... To bed I go.

Crazy Random Happenstance

I got hit by a car yesterday.

Now to justify that claim.

I did in fact get hit by a car, but the worst damage I got was a cut up knuckle and (as it's appearing now) hands with limited gripping abilities. As such this probably won't be a long post because it kind of hurts to type.

I was on my bike coming back home (on the sidewalk (which I found out is not what your supposed to do, but you try riding on those roads, it's dangerous)) and I see this lady rolling through her stop looking the other direction. I go because it looks like she's stopped all the way at one point. She goes (not looking in my direction) and BAM! Up onto her hood and then I'm thrown from it onto the cement. There was so much adrenaline in my system at this point that time was moving very slowly. I remember thinking that I have no helmet on and I'm going to need to protect my head, hence why my knuckles are scraped up.

I'm lying there on the cement. The wind is knocked out of me, so my sternum has tightened up, and I'm hoping I haven't broken a rib (I didn't). She pulls around the corner and stops. Two other guys stop their car and come to check on me. I see one of them walk my bike out of the road, and the back tire isn't spinning. Across the street people have lined up to watch (everyone loves an accident). Then a cop shows up. Then an ambulance shows up.

It was quite an experience. But typing is not a very comfortable activity at the moment, so I'm going to bring this post to a close.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Thinking Thinking Thinking

I just saw Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog last night. If you read this today you need to go check it out now before you can't get it for free after midnight tonight. It's a very funny 40 minute web musical faux video blog in the vein of lonelygirl15, but with higher production values and Neil Patrick Harris singing.

It got me thinking heavily about new-media. Dr. Horrible was made by Joss Whedon with money from his own pocket. He and his collaborators wrote and made it during the Writer's Striker earlier this year as a way of saying to their fellow writers and actors and other non-mucky-muck Hollywood friends that it is possible to do high profile media without the attachment to a major studio. You can read Joss's own words here. After tonight it can be downloaded for a nominal fee from iTunes, which I highly recommend. You can do that here. There is also a DVD with a supposed "musical commentary" and extras coming out.

Ok commercial done. Sorry about that. And back to my thinking brain.

Watching it got me thinking about new-media, indie films, and the accessibility of the internet. It got me thinking, more than anything else, that we (by which I mean myself and my many filmmaking friends at Columbia) can be doing this. We could be making this. Low-budget, high traffic, the internet is rife with opportunities.

So I'm hoping this week to get together with my cohort and collaborator, Duke, and start to think seriously about a story. I'm already putting the feelers out for potential interested film people. I have a producer in mind who may be interested if she's not too busy.

And that's the idea. Make something flashy and interesting that people can download. And if they like it, maybe they'll buy t-shirts, or something, I dunno. Maybe make money, would like to break even at best. But mostly just want to create and get my name out there.

I'll keep this place informed.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Jobs, Rain, and Vacation

I'm about a week and a half into my job at McAlister's, and it has confirmed for me, once and for all, that I am not meant to be in the food service industry. Especially in the food service industry that is fast. So on that note, tomorrow I am heading down to Ann Arbor to apply for a job at the Ann Arbor District Library. We shall see how it goes.

The temperature has been wonky in ways that make me look at all the people who deny the existence of global warming like they're telling me that green tinted poodles are falling from the sky. It was a balmy and humid 75 for the past couple weeks, and then just over the last couple of days it skyrocketed into the upper 80s lower 90s. Then tonight we got hit with heavy and hard storms and lightning like so many camera bulbs.

It's funny because right now I'm reading my way through Kim Stanley Robinson's Science in the Capitol Trilogy. I'm at the very end of 40 Signs of Rain, and the characters are going through much the same weather fiasco that we're facing. It's not great fiction, per se, but it's a wonderful medium for his theories on how to best restructure the government to be more apt to face these looming crises.

Next Friday I'm going up to my cottage for our yearly week long vacation. I can't stress enough how excited I am to get away and get to write and run and eat hobo pies and sit in the sun, and generally just decompress one last time before diving in to grad school.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Long Overdue...Again

Ok, so I got rather busy between the reading and now, and here, 2 weeks later, I am finally making the massive catch up post.

First off, the reading.

It went very well. I ended up reading only two stories, Just Jazz, which was received very well, and is now being cooled before going through rewrites before an eventual submission somewhere. And I also read an excerpt of The Rider (I think that is going to be the official title now). The Rider was received well, but because it was a middle of the story excerpt they didn't know entirely how to take it.

I've decided from this reading that I need to brush up on my public speaking skills. I also need to stop drinking coffee before a reading, and start drinking something more quenching. Like a Gatorade. I was up there and my mouth got really dry. The caffeine made me really nervous, and one eye teared up. And I was sweating like a madman. Most people said that it was a decent reading but I felt like crap while I was up there.

And congrats to the other readers. Martel Sardina read her story about Zombies and Chicago's notorious "vote early and often" saying. It was a very clever tale. The other was Joshua Doetsch who read excerpts from his upcoming novel "Strangeness in the Proportion" which won a publishing contest through White Wolf and will be available (according to his myspace page) "sometime in the near future." He has an amazing mastery over words and the ability to turn a phrase.


I went up to my cottage for the 4th. It was a weekend of running, geocaching, drinking, and fireworks with the family. We accidentally had two fireworks (very LARGE fireworks) go off on the ground, which was a rather disturbing experience.


I also got a job at Mcalister's deli. It's funny, I never thought that I would be working in food service. It was always one of those menial jobs I'd managed to avoid through high school and most of college. It helps being able to tell myself that it is just a summer job that will pass.

Really I miss working in libraries this summer. It was nice being in that field of public service and not in a private industry that is more concerned with resource conservation and anything in the name of a buck. I felt like I was doing actual good, and now I'm just working.


I'm still apartment hunting in Ann Arbor, but I have my hands on a few interesting places. Now I need to get the time off of work to head down to Ann Arbor for a few hours to check it out and do some job hunting and generally try to make like a progressive college student.


Other than that life has been fairly quiet. I've not done nearly the writing that I wanted to. I've only written one short story this summer. Goals are made to be broken and I am a pro at doing it.

On the good side I did go to the coffee shops around the area the last few days and have managed to more or less hammer out a cohesive outline for the Rider. It's raising some interesting questions and taking the story in a few different directions than I'd initially intended, but so far it isn't anything I'm too worried about, and the outline isn't set in stone. Maybe I'll go finish it tomorrow at the Starbucks in the mall.

And with that I'm going to go curl up with a beer and a book and fall asleep.