Monday, March 26, 2007

I went to the ICA in Boston on Saturday. The museum has just opened in a new location and building, and the design has some nice features: I like the huge glass elevator, and the Mediateque, a cantilevered room on the fourth story with a glass wall tilting downward, so that all you see is water when you look out the window. A bit hard to describe.

The art was okay. Some good stuff, but it was all on one not-huge floor, and the quantity didn't seem like enough for $12 admission. We did not, however, spend any time in the "Mediatheque" browsing through their digital video art archives, which would have been fun. My favorite piece was this: We walked into a darkened room -- there were a number of these scattered around, usually with some video installation playing inside, but this one just had a large rectangle of orange on the wall, and a museum guard standing next to it. The orange seemed to be slightly glowing. I went right up to it, almost touching the wall but keeping my hand a couple inches away so as to not upset the guard. The rectangle appeared to be painted directly onto the wall; it wasn't being projected, because my hand made no shadow. Was the paint itself glowing? I wondered that out loud, and the guard said, "Actually, it's --" and she stuck her hand INTO THE RECTANGLE. I actually, literally gasped, and said, "You just blew my mind!" The rectangle was an opening to a seamless little room, that was somehow illuminated completely evenly. It was incredible, funny, awe-some. All good things for art to be.

Speaking of art (of the much-less-ambitious variety), my one-of-a-kind mini-watercolor blocks are now in the Northampton art-o-mat! Stop on by and take a look, it's still in the lobby of Faces. Half the money goes to a good cause (supporting art in the schools or some such) so go and vend a piece of my very soul. Cheap!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Work is very busy, everything flying at me at once (there was a logjam, and it wasn't me, I just get all of the suddenly-free timber flying down the river). Snow is melting. There was a lot, so it'll take a while; be patient.

I always forget how fantastic the broasted chicken is at Bluebonnet Diner. We went there last night and had to sit in the lounge because it was so busy. The lounge was renovated a couple of years ago, getting updated from mid-70s decor to late-70s decor (thank H for that one). Even though smoking hasn't been allowed in there for years, it still looks like a place where you should smoke; a bar with dark barstools, low lighting, dark carpet, tall booths and tables too close to each other. Pay it no mind; get the three-piece broasted (one piece is a tiny wing, so it's not a tremendous amount of food) with fries or mashed, and a way-too-generous helping of coleslaw, and you'll be happy. Please note, however, that the Bluebonnet is closed on Sundays. Ridiculous, I know.

When I think about the Bluebonnet being closed Sundays (one of the best days to eat at a diner) I get the same feeling of injustice that I get when I think about trivia night. See, the Rug Burns have a rival team, a team that often just-barely beats us, a team that frequently comes in first place. The first place team wins the largest amount of money, so this matters. This particular team has the trivia master's girlfriend as a member. Now, everyone who is friends with trivia master guy (and he's a sweetheart, funny and kind) says that he's a straight-shooter and that he definitely doesn't share the questions with his significant other. But, dear readers, he and his girlfriend live together. Inevitably, they watch the same TV shows and movies, hear the same music, talk about whatever interesting news item they've read recently. In short, she absorbs much of the same media that he uses to come up with questions. It's incredibly obvious to me that she shouldn't be playing. It LOOKS like it gives their team an unfair advantage, even if it truly doesn't. (Though I think it does.) So far I haven't been asshole-ish enough to do anything about this except complain, but my indignation at the unfairness of the situation grows a little every time they beat us. I can't help it, I want things to be fair. Fairness, everywhere, for reals.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Went to the South Face Farm sugar shack in Ashfield yesterday, and it was pretty much perfect; The foot or so of snow was freshly plowed so the roads were clear, but we still got a pretty half-hour drive through snow-blanketed countryside. As we entered Ashfield it started flurrying fluffy, sparkly snow. We had about a half-hour wait in their newly expanded (though largely unheated) waiting area which has old farm implements, abandoned wasp nests, and squirrel-chewed sap tubing to look at. Plus, and this is important, they have serve-yourself coffee for a buck a cup. Unfortunately, the sap boiler wasn't on; the sap has been barely flowing this year. Apparently the trees are all confused due to the weird winter we've been having. We were seated right by a window framed by picturesque icicles hanging down from the eaves just above, and looked out on a birdfeeding station. While we were there the icicles slowly slumped and fell off. The food was awesome, of course; whole wheat pancakes with blueberries, bacon on the side. The corn fritters are perfect but please, you really only need one. In fact, split one with somebody. The only problem with the sugar shack experience is that it's not much of a "get up and go!" breakfast. Even with the coffee we were in sugar-n'-carb-comas for hours. But it was so worth it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

You all should know that the sporting center in Southampton (right past the candlepin bowling place on Rt. 10) is having a Ham Shoot every Sunday until Easter. Doesn't seem like shooting a ham would be very sporting, but I guess it's in the spirit of Easter (Easter dinner, at any rate).

Friday, March 09, 2007

This is kind of neat. A woman from the local NPR station came to the Shape Note singing on Tuesday and recorded about half an hour of us for this story. It's a pretty basic overview about this kind of singing, and she used the same song twice for some reason, but my voice is in there somewhere. Here's a link to the story.

I hope to see you all at the big big show at the Elevens tonight, what with the School for the Dead and the Ouch music bands a-playing.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Over the past week:

I purchased a second-hand CB2 shag rug (similar to this, except mine is ivory-colored) off of craigslist. It sheds pieces of wool fluff constantly, but you're not supposed to vaccuum it. So I obsessively and gleefully comb it with my hands at every available opportunity. It's like owning a large, flat, lazy dog.

I taught new guy that a concave surface (say, the bowl of a spoon) will reflect an image upside-down. He was fascinated and shocked, and had to go look up the phenomenon online to figure out why it does that. He's a curious cat.

I've passed my 50th workout with Maya, my computerized personal trainer. She now thinks I can do actual straight-leg pushups. I cannot. Other than that, it's good, and I am feeling progress; stronger, better cardio... It's great.

I ate at the Sierra Grill a couple more times. It's just too convenient, the food is fresh and tasty, their wine list is too good, and they have $3 desserts which are just big enough for me. But: I also ate at two places in town I'd never been to before: Caminito and Cafe Lebanon. Cam is kind of expensive and I'm not entirely convinced it's worth it (unless it's summer and you're out on their porch with some sangria); Cafe Lebanon gets a huge thumbs-up from me. Their Chicken Shawarma sandwich rules.

I went to see Jaws on the big screen at midnight on Friday (part of Cinemark's Friday flashback series, I think it's called...). The print was ancient but it was still fantastic to see it in a theater. There's just nothing wrong with that movie. "Quint?" "No."