Key West was not as inspiring as I hoped it would be. However, it was a refreshing and relaxing change. What little art I saw there was crap. I got the sense that there were a few pockets of decent artists, but one would have to search for days to find them. Lots of pictures and paintings of sunsets and coconuts and blah, blah, blah, so boring. I really like to spend money on crap that I don't need, but nothing called to me. Except for that pair of underwear that said, "I Love to Fart." No, I didn't buy them, but they did call to me. Maybe next time.

The music was a bit better. I was impressed by the bar bands. They mostly played covers, but the ones I heard did a decent job of putting their own spin on the songs. The street musicians on Mallory Square were mediocre, except for Mustafa. He really fit the fantasy of what a visitor to Key West expects to find.

Snorkeling on the reef was definitely the highlight of the trip. I lied earlier when I said that Key West was not inspiring. Snorkeling inspired me to think about what is beautiful and how experiencing beauty makes me feel. I felt as if I were physically engulfed in a work of art. I was afraid at times of the creatures whose home I invaded, but the fear was quickly swept away as a school of brightly colored fish surrounded me. I snapped lots of pictures with my disposable underwater camera. I sent the film to Snapfish today. I should have some shots to put up next week.
I HATE VERIZON! I have been without phone service for the past three days because some bastard technician broke a wire on Wednesday night that disconnected my service. After I called to log my problem, the MF-ers didn't send anyone out until today. That lazy bastard neglected to accurately diagnose the problem, but didn't bother to tell me that my phone still did not work. Even though I sat here all morning for my 8:00-12:00 appointment!!!!! The problem was quickly discovered by my landlord who fixed it in all of two minutes. I hate effin Verizon.

Now that that's over with . . . I watched 32 Short Films about Glenn Gould this morning. I have no idea why I put that in my Netflix queue. I'm sure that those who are interested in Glenn Gould like the film. I, on the other hand, fell asleep somewhere around vignette #11. When I woke up I found that WETA was showing Woman of the Year. One of my favorite films. It's incredibly sexy and complicated. Fantastic!

I'm off to Key West tomorrow morning, so I will not post until next week. I hope to be inspired by the freaks in the keys. I'm thinking that the art galleries there will either have some really interesting pieces, or some really bad pieces--things like pelicans painted on shells.
I got my photos back from the National Geographic lab today. I was a little disappointed. The prints are fine, but I expected a lot better than fine from National Geographic. It doesn't appear that they even cleaned the slides before making the prints. Hmm. I shouldn't be too harsh because I wasn't crazy about these slides to begin with. This was basically an experiment to test the quality of their services. I'll give them another try with slides or negs that I like better. I guess I'll clean them first, too.

I stumbled upon an interesting site today after following a link from Roddy Schrock's blog. I'm facinated by the research at MIT. There's lots for me to read on their media lab site (new link). Just looking now, I was most interested in the Interactive Cinema projects. I made a short video last summer and am still interested in continuing to work in that medium. Great ideas on the site for blending video with technology.
Watched Wave Twisters last night. It reminded me of how I felt when I was three years old watching cartoons on TV. I have snippets of memories of enjoying the images and being fascinated by the action, but not understanding what was going on. And, since I was three, I didn't really care about trying to analyze the cartoons to determine authorial intent, cultural relevance, etc. I just watched, listened, and went on the ride. Wave Twisters would probably be seen as incredibly annoying to people who do not care for skratching or turntablism. DJ QBert pushes his sounds until they are just at the edge of cacophony, hovers there for awhile, then brings them back to a more chilled existence. The animation is nothing revolutionary, but used well to serve as the foundation of the storytelling structure.
I really want to see Polaroid Stories at Studio Theatre. It's been such a long time since I've been to Studio Theatre. I'm curious to see how the director does "snapshot-like style" on stage. That reminds me of a dance piece that I saw a long, long time ago. I can't remember where I was--Miami? I have no idea what the piece was called or who did it, but what struck me was the use of strobe lights on the dancer. The dancer jumped (for lack of a better term) across the stage and the light flashed on him only when he was in the air. The choreography between the dancer and the lights was so precise that it looked as though he floated across the stage, never touching it.
I'm thinking about a performance art piece that is based on the heartbeats of the audience. The piece would be presented in a small theater with about 50 seats for audience members/participants. Each seat would be equipped with a simple heart monitoring device. This device would be connected to a central computer that would be loaded with a variety of sounds, images, and samples of text. There would be three or four actors on stage. The audience would be divided into three segments. As they enter the theater, the audience members choose a seat at random and wait for instructions. A pre-recorded video would be projected on a screen at the rear of the stage. This video would instruct them as to how to put the heart monitors on. Once readings were verified from each audience participant, the presentation would begin.

Each segment would be assigned a central part of the show--sound, image, or text. Each heartbeat reading would be assigned a file. For instance, if a participant seated in segment B (images), seat 7 had a reading of 89, image file 89 would appear on the block of the screen assigned to the participant. As her heartbeat changes, so does the image. Some parts of the show would choose a file based on an average of heartbeats.

I'm not sure what I want to do with the actors. Maybe there could be a read-out of the heartbeat averages of the segments that the actors could see. They would move based on the number. Or maybe they would read the text that was chosen by the heartbeats.

There may be parts of the show where one person's heartbeat determines all of the file choices. After a minute of showing that product, the person's image would be projected on the screen with an actor saying, "you are controling the show!"

I'm not sure how to make all of this have a beginning, middle, and end. I guess that I could change the file collections at predetermined time intervals.

I would need a team with a composer, choreographer, visual artist, writer, and three or four actors. The technology would be pretty tricky and expensive.

I really like this idea. I'll think about it as a long-term project. Please let me know if you have seen or read about a show like this.
Yarrrrr! I thoroughly enjoyed Pirates of the Caribbean. It's certainly no masterpiece, but was a delightful Sunday afternoon distraction. (I can't wait for Talk Like a Pirate Day!) Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom were fun to look at for two and half hours. And I think that Geoffrey Rush is actually a pirate. I was surprised to see one of my favorite BritCom actors in a supporting role--Jack Davenport from Coupling. And what's not to like about Keira Knightley?

In the spirit of pirate excitement, I'd like to share the results of my pirate personality inventory:

You are The Cap'n!

Some men are born great, some achieve greatness and some slit the throats of any man that stands between them and the mantle of power. You never met a man you couldn't eviscerate. Not that mindless violence is the only avenue open to you - but why take an avenue when you have complete freeway access? You are the definitive Man of Action. You are James Bond in a blousy shirt and drawstring-fly pants. Your swash was buckled long ago and you have never been so sure of anything in your life as in your ability to bend everyone to your will. You will call anyone out and cut off their head if they show any sign of taking you on or backing down. You cannot be saddled with tedious underlings, but if one of your lieutenants shows an overly developed sense of ambition he may find more suitable accommodations in Davy Jones' locker. That is, of course, IF you notice him. You tend to be self absorbed - a weakness that may keep you from seeing enemies where they are and imagining them where they are not.

What's Yer Inner Pirate?
brought to you by The Official Talk Like A Pirate Web Site. Arrrrr!
I gave The Animatrix one more try and watched it again last night with my friend who had not seen it. I was able to ignore my internal critic who kept wanting to compare the quality of the dialogue in the shorts to the dialogue in feature films. They really are two different creatures. The dialogue in The Animatrix is more comic book (duh). I enjoy it just fine when I'm reading comic books or graphic novels. There's no reason why I can't appreciate and enjoy it when it is applied to animation or a motion picture. So, once I got past the whole dialogue hang-up, I was able to really enjoy the pieces. I love the blend of time periods and genres that told the stories. I disagree with the mainstream critics who say that The Animatrix will only be enjoyed by fans of The Matrix. I think that it will be enjoyed and is enjoyed by anyone who appreciates creative storytelling with brilliant images.

I also watched Frida yesterday. Liked it a lot. I knew very little about the artist before I watched the film, so I really didn't have any expectations about the style or content of the film. I can't decide whether I want more of the fantasy moments or if the amount was just right. I guess I was a little caught off guard by the first one since it came after a good twenty minutes of a conservative style. Then there wasn't another one for a long while. I was satisfied with the paintings that came to life toward the end. Maybe it would have been too much if there were more at the beginning. Okay, I'm satisfied. If there were more at the beginning, I would not have appreciated the ones at the end. I thought that the highlights of her life were presented in a way that was accessible to someone who knew nothing about her without hammering every detail. The director knew how to choose scenes that she needed to spend time on from the ones where she needed to make her point and move on. I get really frustrated with directors who find it necessary to focus on every highlight on someone's life with equal attention.

Today's viewing experience will be a fun one. I have no expectations about Pirates of the Caribbean other than a fun time. I need to catch up on some reading and go to the gym, then I'll head down to see it.

I just added Roddy Schrock's blog to my list of blogs I read. I found it last night and really enjoyed learning about what he's doing. I have fantasies about blending music with my own computer-generated images, but I have no idea where to start to achieve that goal. I look forward to reading more of his archived entries to find out what he's all about and how he got his start.
I finished watching The Animatrix this morning. I started watching it the day before yesterday and was really put off by the simple dialogue. The animation for The Final Flight of the Osiris was amazing (I swore I was watching live actors during a couple of the shots), but the plot and dialogue were inane. The next couple of shorts were about the same. I gave it another chance this morning as I rewatched a couple of shorts and continued with the ones that I hadn't seen. I really enjoyed Beyond. It reminded me of Spirited Away the way it used magical realism and children as the focus. All of the shorts were beautiful and made me think about my concept of storytelling. I just wish they didn't have so many examples of the sophmoric male fantasy of young women running around in their panties.

I've got Frida on for tonight. Probably not quite so many young women in panties.
I read an interesting blurb, Paint by Rumbas, in Wired today. I've heard of other performance artists doing this sort of thing before. I would really love to see this used as part of a dramatic narrative, while still involving the audience. Or maybe do something where the audience's movements--squirming in their chairs, putting an arm around their date, etc.--would translate into a digital image that would be projected onto the performer. Hmm.
I'm enjoying learning a little more about HTML each day. I just figured out how to add pictures. Woo hoo! Very exciting. Speaking of pictures, I decided that I would take some time this weekend to sort through all of the slides and negs that I have not printed. I'll decide which I want prints of and what I want to do with them, then get them printed. I really like to print, but it is so time consuming and can be really frustrating at times. I won't have complete control by getting them printed by someone else, but at least they will get printed. I found out the National Geographic's photo lab is open to the public. I'll give them a try next week.

The rest of the weekend will be devoted to preparing for my trip to Key West. I've never been and am very excited about going. I cannot wait to snorkel and then relax while drinking something frozen with an obnoxious umbrella in it.
You are a Romero Zombie.You walk the earth because
there is no more room in hell. You feed on
living flesh - anything you can get your
decaying hands on. You can be killed by damage
to your rotting brain.

What kind of Zombie are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Office jobs are fun when the bosses are gone. You get to do stuff like find out what kind of zombie you are.
Yeah, so keeping up with blog posts is not my strong point. The past few weeks have been filled with vacation planning, summer lounging, and extreme exercising. I decided to give myself a break from trying to figure out what I want to do with my life and how I will make the most of what creativity I have. I need to absorb what's around me and focus on learning what really makes me happy.

I have been daydreaming about being a travel writer. I want to do a lot more travelling and I feel like I would get more out of my trips if I was forced to synthesize my experiences into something that a mass audience could appreciate. I'm practicing with an article about a trip that I recently took to Harpers Ferry where I stayed in a treehouse. I have such a hard time with discipline when it comes to things like this. I really want to work on the article, but I seem to find a thousand other tedious tasks to do to distract myself. I guess it's the fear of failure that prevents me from moving forward. I shouldn't be so hard on myself. I am moving forward, just at a very slow pace.
Pictures of concerts, travels and daily life. All photos taken with a Canon PowerShot A75 unless noted otherwise.

That's me spinning at bluestate (photo credit: BV).



Articulatory Loop
Black Cat Bone
Blah, Blah Black Sheep
DC Art News
DC Metro Action
Designs on You
Fantasy Basketblog
Harmany Music
Last Second Thoughts
Melody Nelson
Out of Step / DC
Remain Fabulous
Rock n Roll in the Real World
Seeking Irony
Seminole Heights
Sticks of Fire
Thighs Wide Shut
The Upstate Life
What are we gonna do now?

Five Random DC Blogs

MG'S Non-Blog Writing and Photos

The Girls, The Girls LP
Channels concert review
Les Savy Fav concert review
"Janes Island State Park" in September 2004 issue of Washington Woman
The Carlsonics, The Carlsonics LP
Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa article in July 2004 issue of Hill Rag
Interview with The Stills
Washington Social Club, Catching Looks EP
Interview with Ashlee Simpson
The Rogers Sisters, Three Fingers maxi EP
Interview with The Killers
Badly Drawn Boy, One Plus One Is One LP
The Killers, Somebody Told Me EP
The Casual Dots, S/T LP


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