Winning June 26th, 2011
I started this post many months ago and was going to title it “Is Charlie Sheen really that delusional?” Thinking: high salary, fame, goddesses… it would be a bit delusional for him to think he is not at least somehow god-like.
But twice now I’ve revisited these earlier thoughts, both times just thinking about the ways he has impacted society.
From blog posts to stated personal philosophies to my neighbor’s description of his shirt, I still keep seeing and hearing things related to him. People might say it’s the wrong kind of publicity; I can’t really pass judgment on that. I keep coming back to that word “winning” tattooed on his wrist, not so that he can read it but so others can, and how that continues to show up in general commentary, conversation and Twitter hashtags on all sorts of subjects… Regardless of what it means for him, or even what other people think it means to them, I think that sort of thing (just seeing the word itself all over the place) gets into our psyches and has a positive effect.
There was and is more I would like to say, but maybe it’s best that I just end here with:
Thanks for the vote of confidence, Mr. Sheen.
. . .
P.S. Ok, I’ll give a link that captures some of my other thoughts, here.
Premembering June 23rd, 2011
There was a term I came across in a book I read called “premembering”. It’s like remembering, only with an element of precognition involved: you “remember” an event before it actually happens.
Recently I noticed a connection between something that happened in real life and something that had been written a month before the event actually took place. It’s possible a lot of it is only coincidence, but there was a certain phrase that came up out of context, and it’s really got me wondering if the moment was somehow premembered. There were a couple other interesting things about it:
- It wasn’t just me who contributed to the written part of it, I had a little help from my friends
- There were two chances for the moment to happen, and I didn’t realize I had passed on the first chance until much later. It reminds me of a movie from a decade ago called Final Destination, where some kids cheated death only to realize it would happen anyway, just later.
I can’t see any way that the real-life event could have been predicted from the written information, and the only other person who might understand probably wouldn’t remember and wouldn’t care. I feel like I’ve been out in the woods alone and seen a UFO: I could tell people, but I can’t reasonably expect anyone to believe me.
Maybe none of that is important. I can’t be sure but I think all it tells me is this: It’s like there was a sign out there in the field of doubt we all wander through which couldn’t be read from the direction I was heading. But once I’d passed it and had the sense to look back, it told me that I had taken the right path, that I had made all the right wrong turns.
I wonder if things like this happen a lot but that most of us are so busy or otherwise tuned-out to notice. And I also wonder whether some of the other things I say or read will come to pass.
. . .
P.S. Well, that’s one way I look at it all. I also think it’s just wonderfully intriguing and every time I think about it it puts a smile on my face!
Apogaea 2011: Illuminate June 18th, 2011
Last weekend I was at Apogaea, Colorado’s regional burn. Similar to Burning Man, but just for Colorado. For those of you still asking “what’s that?”, the website says “Apogaea is a collaborative outdoor arts and music festival held in beautiful mountains of Colorado.” Not sure that really covers it all, but it’s a start. It was my first time (they affectionately call us newbies “virgins”), and while I can agree with the above description, it was a lot of other things too. It had the art and the music – mostly electronic music, loud and entrancing until dawn – but also community, collaboration, celebration, fire (burning effigies at the end), things that light up (LEDs/EL wire/blacklights/flourescent paint and materials etc.), interesting activities (I especially liked the High Flying Aerial Acrobatics workshop, Camp Wardrobe Malfunktion was fun too), people in costumes, etc. In short, lots of different things to sink one’s teeth into.
In the days before heading off I made a Day of the Dead costume. While I’ve normally been adding my pretty little LEDs to Goodwill-hunted merchandise, this one was something I designed and made from a raw sheet of fabric, something I haven’t done in a while. Not intending to leave it unLEDed, I placed 1.8mm red LEDs in each of the eyes. The effect was so illuminating that even Facebook thought one of the skulls was a person and asked me to tag them! LOL. I was kind of rushed getting it done, no time for lining on this one, but it held up ok considering. My Rainbow Raincoat, Smolder dress and Flower Power dress also came along with me and showed their colors.
I camped with some friends I met through the Boulder Hackerspace who created the Musical Universe of Faux Fur Flowers (MUFFFs) – a sound-interactive art installation with LED strips, faux fur, bent pipes and flourescent paint. It was fun helping with assembly and take-down, and also joining the cuddle-puddle I found one night lying underneath enjoying the lights react to the music and their conversation! Here’s some videos of the MUFFFs in action: Cuddle puddle or with drums
And here’s some photos from the event:
Cool Hot Springs: Kayaking on the Colorado June 6th, 2011
This past weekend I traveled from my home near Boulder, Colorado to the Colorado River in Boulder Canyon, on the Nevada / Arizona border just below Hoover Dam.
My cousin Tracy, an expert at cramming what normal people consider “vacations” into short weekends, planned this glorious outing a couple months back, and I happily accepted her invitation to come along! There were 9 of us altogether: family and friends from California, Nevada and Colorado. Tracy arranged our trip with Desert Adventures, who did a wonderful job transporting and orienting us for our journey. We split up into 2 canoes and 5 1-person kayaks. The canoes held most of our gear and thankfully none tipped over! Here’s a brief description of our journey, followed by a galleria of photos.
Day 1, Saturday: gathered at 8:15 just east of Boulder City, launched around 9, then traveled 4 miles down-river. The launch point is just below the Hoover Dam. We explored the Sauna Cave, hot springs in Gold Strike Canyon and also some spraying in to the river, etc. Reaching where we planned to camp around 1, we ate, set up camp, walked to a hot springs with waterfall just up the canyon, ate, hung out, ate, paddled, made s’mores, with most of us going to bed before the sun went down.
Day 2, Sunday: 7 miles. We awoke to find a mouse had drowned in a cup of water we’d left sitting out. We ate (but not the mouse), packed up and set out (before 7 I think it was), paddled and enjoyed the water until about 9:30, had brunch, paddled some more, some of us took a swim along the way, the wind kicked up in late morning and there was a hellish mile-or-so long slog heading south into strong winds from the south until our take-out point at Willow Beach, where we then ate lunch, napped, lounged etc. until our pick-up at 3.
Interesting things about the trip:
- Something about being on the water makes you want to eat all the time. Which we did. Thank you Tracy for packing such good food for us all, we really appreciated it!!
- Hot and Cold: The water in the river is 55 degrees Fahrenheit, which is pretty cold to bare skin. In contrast, there are hot springs flowing in to the river in numerous places, some of them pretty scalding, and the air temperature was above 90 F both afternoons.
- I don’t know if it’s always like this, but it got windy both days near noon, from the south, the direction the river was taking us. I think it canceled the current and then some. This made paddling downstream feel like paddling up hill.
- They tell you to pee in the water instead of on land. It is hard to feel comfortable doing this after years of conditioning.
More photos on my Flickr.
P.S. Aside from the afternoon wind, this trip was delightful!
Maker Faire Bay Area 2011 Recap June 1st, 2011
The weekend before last (May 21-22) I attended Maker Faire, the “World’s Larges DIY Festival”, in San Mateo California.
I was proud to be a part of the eTextiles / Wearable Computing Lounge and Showcase. eTextiles and Wearable Computing (which I’ll abbreviate eT/WC from here on) incorporate electronics into fabrics or clothing. See my earlier post for more on what it is and how I came to be interested in this field.
The Lounge displayed the works of about 10 or so designers. The Showcase was an eT/WC fashion show, held at 3 pm on Saturday on the ArcAttack stage of the Fiesta Hall. I never imagined myself as a runway model and although it wasn’t exactly like that, I sure couldn’t pass up the opportunity to sachey, chantey!
(Did anyone capture the Showcase on video? My Mom especially wants to know! )
For the Lounge, I had on display the 3 items mentioned in my May 9 post: the Rainbow Raincoat, Smolder and Flower Power dresses. For the Showcase I decided to wear Flower Power, but I’m also proud that Lynne Bruning, who brought us the eTextiles Lounge + Showcase, chose to wear my Rainbow Raincoat while presenting! (I should have warned her the fabric is very insulating and not so great for stressful situations, though!)
I was happy to meet many interesting and fun fellow designers and see how each of us is taking the technology and creativity in different directions. Very exciting times! Thank you Lynne for making this event happen!
In addition to my eT/WC participation, I was gobsmacked just walking around the Faire taking in all the sights, sounds, tastes and thought-provoking ideas! It kind of felt like the county fairs I used to go to as a kid combined with Mythbusters and Mad Max.
Photos from the Faire (see my Flickr for more):
Most awed by: the Mechanical Swamp Kirin:
More experiences from the Faire on the Boulder Hackerspace website, Solid State Depot.