Wednesday, April 30, 2008

May Day

Remember all the fun we had last year?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Velociraptors in my kitchen

I was almost eaten alive by this character today, but my ability to run and scream at the same time worked in my favor

Seriously, take a look at this size of this little fella (say in Crocodile Hunter voice)

In true Croc Hunter style, Morgan chased him till he dropped his tail, look at it, its the size of a house!

Luckily some arent big pansies and managed to catch him and release him into the wilds of our backyard, where I assume he will grow to the size of two houses and devour us all. Or the pack of rabid cats will take it on in a battle to the death

Thursday, April 24, 2008

House update - April

After tearing out all of the walls and ceiling of the landing around the staircase, we have managed to rewire upstairs so we have a light above the stairs and no longer risk falling down/up them during the night, and have hung most of the new drywall. Today we tore out another section of wall to build a new closet space in the weird space that is walled off between my closet and the landing space, and came across the chimney and 105 years of crustiness

Then Brian managed to fall off the ladder whilst hanging drywall above the stairs, impale himself on some tools, narrowly missing his kidney, and rush to hospital to get some stitches, much in the way I did after taking a dive through a bunch of beer bottles on my farewell party back in Australia all those years ago. The Fort Pigeon renovations continue...


Thanks to the wonders of education I was able to travel to Boston for the always exciting annual geographers conference. 6000 geographers in one place for 5 days, like a beautiful dream.

My camera broke but I managed to get a few shots, including the John Zorn/Masada show at ICA, set on Boston's waterfront

The congregation of 5 universities made the city one of the most bike-populated areas I have visited, along with some other good projects

...and this great bicycle advocacy advertisement

It reminded me in a more subtle p.c. way of one of the finest pieces of graffiti that was emblazoned upon an abandoned house at a major intersection in the CBD of Melbourne that just said "Ride ya bike fatty!"

Asides from being trapped inside a fortress-like complex of hotel conference rooms and academic panels, I was able to escape and ride my kindly-loaned $20 mountain bike that was three sizes too small, described by one new acquaintance as looking "like a giant on your ridiculous mountain bike pedaling overtime, careening through the streets of boston and overtaking tricked out track bikes". Asides from the handlebars coming loose, the left crank arm breaking entirely off, and being followed by police for being lost in a rich neighbourhood at 3am looking entirely suspicious no doubt, it made for fun times riding through Harvard, Cambridge, and the outskirts of who-knows-where.

I took a short side trip to Providence, Rhode Island on the train, 1 hour later I am in another city/state. My only real knowledge of Providence is RISD (the school of design) and Lightning Bolt/Load Records, both of which I saw within ten minutes of arrival.

Most importantly I learnt that Boston and Providence are the home of Dunkin' Donuts, literally on every corner, including the Dunkin Donut Center which was sadly just a convention center

**According to google maps, there are presently 1543 dunkin donuts stores in Boston, seriously...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Bladerunner Alleycat

As mentioned a few posts back, I have a love/hate relationship with alleycats, but after the Blood In Blood Out one went relatively successfully, I figured why not race again. Jimmy L. from downtown has always put on the best alleycats, though sadly I have missed his 'Falling Down' and 'Traffic' alleycats. This time was 'Bladerunner', which was shot almost entirely in downtown L.A. (though set in the future).

Given I knew some of the spots, I thought maybe I stood a small chance. But mostly I was just looking forward to racing across downtown chasing 'replicants' at buildings such as the Bradbury (Harrison Ford's home in the movie)

After the 60 or so competitors got their map, there was a sprint start, but most didnt realize you had to follow someone to the first stop, but those that did pay attention took off up the stairs to the multi-level parking lot, got our manifest on the 6th floor (list of 5 checkpoints), and proceeded to race back down and out into the streets of downtown. Chris and I took a different approach, and headed to the furthest checkpoint in Chinatown first. The stops consisted of tasks to 'eliminate' the replicants to get points. Ten cartwheels, kids rides, eating fake eyeballs, scoring a goal in bike polo, reciting movie lines, getting lost, deciphering a poorly photocopied map in the dark, eating fortune cookies, origami, avoiding police, remembering to get checked off at each stop (and the extra secret stops), drink water, as well as some actual riding

And then there was the final stop, on the 27th floor of the impossible to cognitively map, postmodern nightmare, that is the Bonaventure hotel, and this...

It all seemed like it would be fun and games

...but I was hurting by lash #5. I had to see if I could take 10, I made it, with two extras because I didnt say "thankyou mistress" correctly. Note the hardcore porn all over the walls and bed for added incentive. Chris took the easier option of folding origami out of porn, but I regret nothing!

There was a 9.30 cut off time before you had to head to the Monte Carlo bar in Koreatown for the last stop, a 15 minute sprint west out of downtown. I came in second, at 9.29pm, and took the first non-messenger spot, half the field dropped out, and unfortunately two riders met with fast-moving cars and took a ride to County hospital, I hope they are doing better today.

*hrmm no actual photos of bicycles from a bicyle race, makes sense.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The New Face of Terror

To help placate the racists and convince the 'average American citizen' that their nation is indeed a strong one bounded by secure borders and a tough immigration stance, the DHS and ICE have been stepping up their immigration raids. The L.A. Times reported a 45 fold increase in workplace arrests since 2001 during 2007. Today after observing a raid, I realized how this is all made to seem even more mundane and 'natural' by the use of unmarked, everyday cars, with the most minimal identification. Most walking by had no idea of what was going on

Be more professional

At the ripe old age of 26, and supposedly on my way to becoming a 'doctor', I figured it was time to be a little more professional in my demeanor, and finally get some business cards made up for when I present at conferences etc. The torn bits of paper with my information written in my 4 year-old style handwriting isn't really cutting it. And I figure the cards will balance my less mature activities that I am better known for, well, maybe a little...

So an acquaintance of mine offered to make some up, given my lack of design skills, and asked what I wanted information-wise. I gave my info, and said "a picture of something would be great, whatever, lemurs or something" half-jokingly. So this is what I received today, along with an edited version by a cheeky australian (see if you can note the subtle difference)...

I would hire me, and I think Harvard would too

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Boston, activist geographies, and Colbert?

Experimental geographer Trevor Paglen had a spot on the Colbert Report last week (thanks on the heads-up to N.B.) for his new book, also reviewed/interviewed in the NYT:

In a somewhat exciting set of events, I will be talking alongside Trevor on the 'What's Activist?' session at this years Association of American Geographers conference in Boston, as part of the Activist Geographers Grouping

Sunday, April 6, 2008

In An Absolut World

A fabulous piece of marketing from Absolut has the racists and terrorist conspiracy theorists up in arms, screaming they will boycott drinking Absolut, which I'm sure has the Swedes shaking in their boots, as everyone south of the apartheid wall clinks their glasses of Absolut in praise, salud!

(The map depicts Mexico and the U.S. pre-1848 before the Treaty of Guadalupe was signed, and the U.S. claimed what is now California, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and Colorado from Mexico. The racists are all concerned there is a 'reconquista' occurring in the Southwest by Mexicans "invading" across the border)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

House update #...something

There has been discussion of new house names, ala "A-house" and "A-partment", but I'm advocating for "Fort Pigeon" (Avian Bird Flu death house), after being rained down upon from the sky by decades of pigeon crap and dust as I smashed the shit out of existing ceiling today with a crowbar and mallet

Matt's room is done, 2 new housemates enter the pigeon-dome, and now the re-drywalling of the entire upstairs is underway (well the part at the top of the staircase). We've been summoned (or some legal type term) to court for being a blight on the neighbourhood, and the feral cats have been making beautiful music in the backyard, while the male pigeon dances for the female one outside my window, it must be spring...

Matt's room before and after (Matt and I first slept here in opposite corners on the floor away from the hole in the ceiling where the pigeons would crap through, and dealt with the mosquito infestation, but first we had to empty the room out)

Upstairs hallway area before and, er, during?

more to come, sooner rather than later. And of course tonight is one of the five nights of the year it has to rain in L.A...