Where is that tension headache coming from?

Doctors note that an extra 20 calories a day (one peanut M&M or a tortilla chip) over a year means two pounds gained.

Remember the energy crisis? It didn't end, it's just that the global economy made it too expensive for third world countries to buy oil. As the global economy recovers it will return. Also the US has pressured the IEA into underestimating how fast the world is running out of oil.

Democrats are threatening to stop the health care bill because they don't want federal money funding abortions.

Or do you remember how early this Summer the government decided to delay vaccine production for the swine flu because they wanted to make sure it was going to become an epidemic first...

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Once again I'm regretting not learning French and German. Normally it's because I want to live/travel in Europe but now it's because I really need to read some texts in their original language. Translations done by people outside the field are often wrong!

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I'm looking to find American action films with famous (or not so famous) one liners ("I'll be back") that I can sample video from. Especially looking for films that have violence against non-white persons by white guys.

All about the gushing

While our book only gives two pages and two pictures to Toulouse-Lautrec, my instructor gave us an hour worth of class time including a series of images of prostitutes that flipped by while she played Lady Marmalade on a boom box (The Pink/Christina/Lil' Kim version).

Have I told you how much I love grad school in the last ten minutes? I love grad school. Ya know what I hate? That I didn't do it ten years earlier.

The only part I'm not crazy about is the being broke part. That's not really surprising however. I budgeted for living expenses (though everything has gone up recently) but I didn't accurately gauge my expenses for supplies (plastic resins are 'spensive!) and new equipment nor was I expecting the tuition hike. (Thanks Governator!) The maximum amount of loans you can borrow has not changed much in ten years and certainly hasn't kept pace with inflation. I thought that all I'd need to do this year is buy a new computer monitor but I'm starting to realize that I'm gonna need some other equipment for installations that the school just doesn't have.

I'll also eventually need a Hi Def camcorder with decent lenses. That's gonna run me about $3500. I'd like it now but will really need it next year. I'd sell a kidney but mine are shot. I guess I'll just have to start hunting undergrads at night. I've been doing a bit of searching online to see if there are any grants available to schools for equipment upgrades but I've come up dry so far. I would be happy to fill out a grant application for the school. Big institutions have people on staff whose job is to write grants while the poor schools (that need the grants more) can't afford to staff those people.

Just 'cause I've never won a grant doesn't mean I won't try.

High School RPG

I had this dream that I was playing a role playing game where you are a high school teacher. It was totally frustrating so I finally quit the game yelling "Fuck this! I have all this responsibility and no power to affect change". Then I woke up.

It could be worse. It could be something I couldn't wake from.

Day of Art

Had a day of art today. Went to two galleries and a museum that were required shows to see for a class. They all basically sucked. Then I went to a show that was not assigned for class but I was interested in, the Your Bright Future show at the LACMA. (Work by twelve contemporary Korean artists.) The reviews said the show was hit and miss (what isn't?) but the stuff that hit really hit.

My three favorite artists in the exhibition are Jeon Joonho, Gimhongsok, and Kimsooja. Not surprising all of them are either video artists or use video to some extent.

In The White House by Jeon Joonho a video projection of a twenty dollar bill has an animated figure moving around and altering the image of the White House, slowly painting away the windows and doors so that the open building becomes a bunker. It's both beautiful and hilarious. A clip from a similar piece done with a Korean bill can be found here. (A clip from the one in the exhibition can be seen on the LACMA website.)

Kimsooja's piece A Needle Woman is really amazing to see. It's one of those that you have to stand in the middle of to really experience. (That's what installation's all about right?) Six screens of her standing still in the middle of a street while people walk around her. At first you think it's six screens of the same video but then you realize the streets and the people on them are from all over the world. Despite the slow movement on the screens, all six of them together almost become sensory overload. I really love video art like this and was happy to just sit there and have it sort of wash over me.

At first glance I sort of dismissed Gimhongsok's work but then once it sunk in it almost became too much and it was as if part of my brain shut down. Most of the works had a video element to it as well as some text painted directly on the wall that almost pushed it into installation. The work contains both some truth and some fiction to it so that you don't always know what is being presented as documentary fact and what isn't (though sometimes it's obvious). In one of the pieces a line is written that states that "with communism, fiction is realer than fact". (That might not be an exact quote but it's close.) It's almost to say that the artist's fictional reality is just as valid as the fictional reality created by the communist regime.

Probably the most disturbing/delightful parts is the performance aspect of the installation. There are animal costumes on display. A sign next to them states that there are real Korean and Mexican immigrants being paid $5 an hour to hold poses for eight hours in the costumes to highlight the subject of illegal workers. The museum claims there are actually people inside the costumes but is this just another one of the artist's fictions? You stare at them to see if they move and you're sure you see some kind of movement. I'm sure I saw one breath for a second... Then you decide that you're tired of trying to figure it out and you look elsewhere but then you wonder if they are looking at you. Are there eyes watching you or is it another fiction?

Images and video clips from the whole exhibition can be seen by going to the LACMA website. The show is only up for a week so if you live in town catch it while you can. If you don't live in town at least check out the website. Click now! Operators are standing by...

Love for Tivo and Kathy Ack(er)

Today I finally threw my broken Tivo into the trash. As it sailed into the dumpster I sang "I Will Always Love You". It hasn't fully worked for two years (couldn't record anymore) but I had some shows on there I wanted to watch. Before tossing it I ripped the case open and took out the hard drive which was still good. In a way it's Tivo's heart and soul. Maybe I'll use the hard drive to build a robot that will eventually enslave the human race. I's what Tivo would have wanted.

I finally found the Kathy Ack website. It combines the text of experimental writer Kathy Acker with images from the comic strip Cathy. I can't love it enough. They are relatively close in age but obviously have a very different view of life as a woman.

I also have jury duty in October. I thought I'd get out of it because I no longer live in LA but I'm being called into federal court so I have to live more than 80 miles away from the court to use distance as an excuse. Since most juries don't serve on Monday I'll hopefully only miss one class a week. I hope it's a case involving a demented mad scientist. I would totally want to be part of a jury of his/her peers.

She tried to use a super atomizer to wipe Fresno off the map? Innocent I say! Innocent!

Seen a tank lately?

Does anyone know if there is a park or some place where there is a military tank that I can take pictures of? Anything at a VA building, veteran's memorial, or something?