1) Ben, who is by far the best videographer at our office, complemented some of the things I've filmed for this video about students with scholarships. My camera skills are definitely the thing I feel least secure about at my job so it was nice to hear this. Also, I was shooting like crazy for this project this week and thus had weird hours and was feeling cranky about it, so if it weren't for this compliment I wouldn't be mentioning it at all.
2) Started watching Avatar: The Last Airbender through Netflix instant queue. Tiffany, Seth and Krista always rave about the show so I decided it was about time. It's a cartoon show made for Nickelodeon, and there are certain times when that is obvious and annoying, but generally it's awesome. The animation of the various "bending" techniques (essentially magic) is all very cool and the over arching plot is epic and awesome, but the one-off episodes and some of the humor I could do without. It's the perfect sort of thing to watch with breakfast on the weekend mornings, or while I'm chopping vegetables, folding laundry etc.
3) Rode my bike to work on Tuesday. The weather was gorgeous. It's about 13 miles and it took about an hours and 15 minutes, which compared to a ~50 minute train ride is not bad at all, especially when you add on the 40 minutes I would spend if I went to gym, and the fact that I can probably improve on that time as riding to work becomes a regular thing. I was thinking about leaving my bike there and riding back another day, but Tiffany and Seth had also rode down to Hyde Park and were going to ride back so I went along with them which made riding at night a much more pleasant experience that it would otherwise have been. And while I was pretty beat on returning home and my leg muscles were sore the next day it was not as bad as I was expecting considering 25 miles in a day.
3) On wednesday I had breakfast at Salonica with Maria Cecire, who I knew from Fire Escape and who was on campus for a few days to talk to current students about her experience as a Rhodes Scholar. She is at Oxford studying children's literature and medivalism and gets to do awesome stuff like invite Philip Pullman to speak at conferences she's putting on. So we caught up and talked about video on the internet, communication in the age of the internet, twitter (which I joined, though I still don't quite get), the U of C culture, feminism, otherization and villification in children's lit and legos and many other interesting topics. It was very cool.
She urged me to write an academic paper about the shift in lego representations of villians and get it published in a journal, if only so she could cite it in her article about similar issues in children's literature. And while it's a cool idea, I have no idea how to even begin going about this. The social sciences are a complete mystery to me. She said she was going to look into some journals that might be looking for something like that, so I guess I 'll see if she comes up with anything, but I've got plenty of side-projects going on already so I'm not going to actively pursue this until I've at least completed one full episode of NNN.
4) Ari also happened to be in Chicago this week. She has been in Japan teaching English for the past year and will continue there next year. She came over to my place for dinner on Wednesday with Seth, Tiffany and Krista. Potato flag was had (one of them was made to look like Japan's flag in her honor) and we talked about Ari's expereinces in Japan, Avatar the last airbender, Harry Potter, Gandalf vs. Merlin vs. Dumbledore (not the potential fight, but their relative merits) and various other things. We also had pear cider and nut brown ale and peanut butter cup cookies/sour patch kids (for Tiffany, who is foolish and doesn't like peanut butter). It was a fun night.
5) Also had lunch with Charlotte Soesanto, who I met through Fire Escape and was one of the creators/animators of Food Fight and did a voice or two in Lego Movie 2.33. She also was in Japan the previous year (learning) and will be there next year (teaching). We ate outside on the upstairs deck at the Med and I got chicken quesadillas with guacamole. We talked about the NNN mythos, magic, shamanism and shiatsu, avant garde dancing, yoga, mediataion, wikinarratives etc.
6) I've been working on a new mix CD (my first since college ended I think) which I have entitled Trip Hop Exploration 1. I've come to realize that Trip Hop is one of my favorite music genres, and should be better represented in my music library. This first CD was my attempt to map where it already existed within my collection so that I had fodder to create a Pandora station that will allow me to find new music in the same vein. I was able to find most of the CD/playlist as youtube videos (that link above), but if you want a copy of the CD just let me know. I just burned one for Tiffany.
7) I did a little animating on Friday night.
8) Saw Star Trek with Stephanie, Paul and JJ on saturday. It was totally awesome. Go see it. <3 Zachary Quinto. Also, everybody else. It was hilarious and fun.
9) Talked to Adam. He's going to grad school in Sweden (all education is free for everyone there apparently) starting this fall. We talked tentatively about plans for me to drive out to the farm where he works and then to drive together to the beach house my parents are renting at the Jersey shore for a week in June.
10) Other stuff I watched this week: Babe Pig in the City which JP had recommened to me long ago but I had forgotten about until I saw it on the AV Club. I can see why he says it's one of his top five movies of all time. The action sequences are miraculously absurd rube goldbergian nightmares. The characters are weird yet endearing, and it's always satisfying to see the little pig with the big heart win. More Buffy the vampire Slayer: Buffy gets a job, the party that never ends, a rape metaphor that isn't so much a metaphor, and the brief return of Riley (ho hum). The 30 Rock season finale was also wonderful. A musical extravaganza!