Saturday, April 5, 2008

An Urban Wilderness

1) These cool lego animations featuring unusual creatures.

2) Had a nice, relaxed, long morning. I built this skeleton man using only pieces from this set. Like many of my creations using this type of limit, he is a bit strange looking. I will probably disassemble him relatively soon. He's taking up valuable skeleton parts and most of my skeleton horses.

Tiffany posted a great entry to her livejournal about the refrigerators in her life. I think it's a really nice piece of creative non-fiction.

Jenny posted some pictures of Isaiah. My favorite is this one of him helping her make banana muffins.

3) Took a shower which helped me get out of my apartment.

4) Going downtown for the first time in a long time. I spend way too much time in Hyde Park.

5) Got some art supplies for Renee's birthday present. Oh and when I say art supplies I mean a 500 variety pack of googly eyes.

As you can see it is a very comprehensive set of googly eyes. I also got another one of those plastic sorting containers to better sort some of my legos.

6) Then I was hungry and needed to go to the bathroom and the first place with a public bathroom that came to mind was the mall that has the Lego Store in it. While I was there it seemed silly not to also go to the Lego Store, so I did and I bought a cool little whale, a box of regular bricks, and this Indiana Jones set that I've been trying to get since I first saw it existed. Then I went up to the food court and got potbellies for lunch.

7) Then I went on a short bike ride with Tiffany. We rode down to the Japanese garden and walked around there. Along the way we encountered many superfluous paths. The Japanese garden is pretty nice, although nothing was quite out of the ground yet. We did see a couple ducks though.

8) Then we went back to my apartment and Krista came over and we watched most of the original Star Wars. And when I say original, I mean before Lucas made all those changes in the nineties and then again in the naughties. It was awesome, although I did nod off for a little bit. We also had dinner in the form of cinnamon chicken and chips and guacamole. Delicious!

9) Met up with with Anat and her roommate Lizzie at the 6 stop. We showed each other our masks for the party and then headed downtown. We got off and began walking to where we were supposed to rendezvous with our guide. We walked through the south loop and and I saw a lot of cool things I had never seen before, like a converted train station with a cool clock tower. We turned south on a street starting with W (I forget which) and walked along it. As we walked the street progressed from a normal downtown street, to a considerably more potholed street to gravel to a dirt road through a construction site. This happened in the span of just a few blocks, it was very surreal, especially since we were still north of Roosevelt at this point. We stopped at the construction site by some construction vehicles while we waited for our guide.

This is the view South from our stopping point. The plastic sheeting on the side of this building was gently rippling in the cool evening breeze.

This is the view North.

Here's are some silhouettes of the construction vehicles.

The bridge is Roosevelt.

Can you find Anat in this picture?

Maybe 15 minutes later we rendezvoused with our guide and his companions and continued our journey to "The Brownlands."

10) We passed under the Roosevelt bridge and entered a grassland. It was so bizarre to see this completely undeveloped land in the midst of Chicago. There was a train depot to the west and throughout the party the rumblings and wailings of the trains provided a kind of subdued sorrowful mechanical soundtrack.

We walked along a dirt path for maybe 5 minutes until we reached the campfire.

Oh yeah of course everyone was wearing masks of all sorts. You've already seen mine. Here's Anat's. (Sorry that you can't see much in any of these pictures, using a flash felt wrong.)

And the most amazing mask was definitely Drew's elephant mask with a working trunk.

Theo was there and for ended up in a few of my pictures

Ben Kolak was also there, videotaping it and looking like a GhostBuster (to me at least)

Off in the field there was a guy from circus doing fire poi.

All of this was before the birthday girl(s) showed up. You see this was a surprise party. As the guest(s) of honor approached David Bashwinner (who I met at Ben Kolak's "K-Town Moonbase" on Tuesday") pounded the drum and led the tribal chorus in chanting. Krista was really into it.

Here's the video documenting Deniz's arrival.

11) There was a really awesome cake

12) Here are the rest of my pictures from the party

13) I gave Deniz her legoself and she was really excited about it. She said it was one of the coolest things she'd ever gotten.

14) There was this gorgeous guy Krista and I spent a fair amount of time admiring. We talked with him as well, but only for a little bit, it was not as rewarding

15) I did have entertaining conversations with Theo and David Bashwinner ("Bash") though. Theo and I discussed whiskey drinking cyborg hunters in a strange post-apocalyptic future called "Denver: A New Hope." Bash and I talked about his research in how music is processed by the brain and related issues.

16) I also shot a short movie. Bash provided the score and Drew was the lead actor. Krista and others were supporting actors. I call it "Behold! The Mighty Elephant."

17) All in all it was a perfectly wonderful day and I came home with clothes smelling of campfire.

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