Wednesday, May 31, 2006

James Brown: There Was A Time.


Nobody ever comments when I talk about the music I'm listening to, and besides, I don't know sufficiently little that any assertation is somewhere between risky and a shot in the dark.

Now: What can you tell me about this?:



The Visitation.


I chose the Maurice Denis Visitation mainly for its color and immediacy. I remember in 12th grade I was reading a cheap Bible and illustrating the margins as I went. Before Joseph was abducted and taken to Egypt, I drew a discarded pizza box and a stack of Rocky and Bullwinkle videos. My mom thought I was scorning the story, which says a lot for her objectivity since none of us were particularly religious. However, I was using the illustrations more as a point of access: if the stories are as relevant today as when they occured and/or were written, there is no need to worry about the inclusion or exclusion of anachronism. Well... as long as the anachronism isn't counter to the story itself. But this could easily balloon into a more intense conversation than I intend.

I chose the Denis because I find the brightness of this piece and its anachronism refreshing. (Amber, can you shed any additional light?)

* * * * *

The Bible can be discussed metaphorically without proving or disproving its literality; it consists almost exclusively of variations on two stories:

Story #1: God makes contact with humanity; humanity is open to the interaction and benefits as a result.
Story #2: God makes contact with humanity; humanity rejects the interaction and suffers as a result.

Quite aside from the question of what did and what did not happen, the multitudes of variations suggests that they each have something different to reveal; that a nuance or subtlety of our relationship to God is encapsulated in a specific moment. Which is why this can be read as metaphor.

* * * * *

So the Visitation: it's clearly a take on Story #1. But how does God make contact with humanity? The answer is surprisingly literal; we are inclined to think of this "visitation" as what is transparently before us: Mary visits her cousin, Elizabeth.

But another visitation is happening simultaneously. Remember, the gospel starts well prior to the Nativity, and the passage leaves no doubt as to Christ as a legitimate presence even before he is born:

Luke 1: 41-45. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"

Mary is not only visiting Elizabeth; God is visiting (making contact) with all three of them, and this is recognized at once.

Herein is the sutlety of this particular story; in the Rosary we meditate upon this event as emblematic of "charity": visiting a loved one in a time of need and stress. Mary's visit parallels God's visit, and both are magnified through their partnership. This foreshadows the moment down the road when Christ collapses the ten commandments into "love God" and "love each other." And since Mary and Jesus are effectively inseparable at this point, just as John and Elizabeth are, and just as both women are through their kinship, love so pure is elastic.

The best way to love yourself is to love someone else...


Understanding Postmodernism, #6.


This "project" is an informal discussion of modernism and postmodernism, ultimately to be applied to the larger Gothic Funk debate. A more detailed description of the project is available here. PLEASE ADD YOUR COMMENTS AND JOIN THE DEBATE:

Paragraph 2, Sentence 4:

That concept of modernity proposed much more individualist and stylized versions of Enlightenment lucidity which might resist its mythology of progress, its commitment to empiricist and utilitarian values, and above all its affiliations with a sensationalized and superficial popular culture.

Charles Altieri, "Modernism and Postmodernism," The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (1993), 792-796.


Lunas 12, 28.


- FIRST - Have you checked out the comments action on this blog yesterday and this morning? I realize this is probably just a brief burst of early summer feistiness, but it's absolutely wonderful. I've just been schooled by Milligan and alan1 and rioted over by Monty Hall. Alan1's in the process of being schooled now. Will he school them back? Who is going to get schooled next? As long as you keep posting interesting comments, I'll work hard to find interesting things to comment on.

- AND BRIEFLY - I'm unable to post comments at work, though I can post posts (go figure), so let me just say that Milligan came at me on the McCain argument from the one angle for which I was unprepared. That is, that McCain was conservative all along. I'm unequipped to respond to that assertation right now, so I'll look into it. I don't think, however, it derails my argument, except the part where I said McCain might not have been awful back in 2000. Which I still think is true compared to Bush. And which was just a bit of icing in the first place.

- SECOND - I'm only going to report on the Tigers and the weather at the top of each week from now on. It takes too long, and I'm not sure anyone reads it, anyway.

- YESTERDAY - Still and serene. After work, Jess and I visited a bit, but she was a tired kid and went to bed early and slept all night long. She probably needed it. I was up until almost one working, and should have gone to bed then, but I used Murdoch's Online Adventures to track down some old friends, and ended up getting sucked in for two hours. That and, P-Funk refused to instant chat with me. Which is always a little disappointing. Oh, well.

- MAY - Is the month of hamburgers, melanoma prevention, and women's health care.
- TODAY - Feast of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary. Also: World No Tobacco Day.
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY - Omar Khayyám and Walt Whitman.

By way of a shoutout to a best friend and roomate, Sam, check out his work:

The Sesame Street Personality Quiz.


You Are Oscar the Grouch

Grumpy and grouchy, you aren't just pessimistic. You revel in your pessimism.

You are usually feeling: Unhappy. Unless it's rainy outside, and even then you know the foul weather won't last.

You are famous for: Being mean yet loveable. And you hate the loveable part.

How you life your life: As a slob. But it's not repelling as many people as you'd like!

That's all, folks!


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

My goodness, McCain.


Is it too soon to say that I'm already getting nervous about the upcoming election?

For almost four years both houses of Congress have been dominated by Republicans. We've had a conservative Republican president who has now made two (in one case, explicitly conservative) appointments to a previously split Supreme Court. This is a dilemma for me personally for a number of reasons. The issues closest to my heart, that is, the environment, health care, civil rights, and responsible economics have all been consistently neglected by the GOP for over twenty years. But there's even more reason to be nervous in the moment's climate:

These are not our parents' or grandparents' Republicans. We're not talking about a Rockefeller or a Goldwater with policies that might be a little austere for our liberal hearts but which we might begrudgingly, or even openly, admire for their economy. Todya's Republicans by-and-large have more in common with McCarthy. That's right, I went there. Today's Republicans are mostly household Republicans, by which I mean their policies don't place much stock in a right many Republicans used to live and swear by, described by Supreme Court justice William O. Douglas as "the right to be left alone." Perhaps they do with regard to some taxes... but in general, these Republicans are happy to sit in your phones, at your doctors, and in your bedroom. They'll go to the big communal bank and take out exorbitant loans on foreign-policy get-rich-quick schemes and pass along the interest to you and your kids.

Yes, I'm very scared of John McCain right now.


That was an intentionally loaded statement. "Why John McCain?" is the question I'm baiting. "Isn't he one of the few Rockefeller or Goldwater Republicans left?"

I'm starting to think not.

One thing many centist democrats and moderates may have missed is that in recent years the whole political dialogue has shifted. Yes, yes, it's largely 9/11-driven, but if you look at the discourse these days we're not talking about a step to the right strictly in terms of defense and security. The political conversation has moved in that direction in virtually every issue; one state has approved gay-marriage, but dozens are lining up to oppose it, and a federal amendment (though one that is perhaps unlikely to pass) might make state decisions moot. Tax cuts are being given to corporations (many already posting record-profits) in a way that is, well, precedented I supposed, but nevertheless in the midst of an unsurprisingly expensive war, in a very unprecedented way. The lack of accountability over the war itself has manifested in Bush's approval ratings, but at the end of the day the ratings only count if they stick in an election. That hasn't happened.

I'm not trying to paint a grim view of the future or even of the present. The tide is changing, and we'll quite possibly see a watershed transference of Congressional seats this November.


I think it's important to think, as Doc Brown would say, "fourth-dimensionally." In a saner world, McCain would've won the primaries in 2000. He very likely would've been elected and probably would've been pretty liberal as far as Republicans go. Who knows; he may have even been the best Republican president since Eisenhower.

Electing him in 2008, however, I expect him to drive from a much more defensive, reluctant, and conservative angle.

Tom's response to a McCain interview on gay rights, for example, suggests the sort of political dexterity I'm talking about. When asked if he supports gay rights, McCain answers "yes, sir!" He bases this, in the following conversation, on his choice to vote against the Federal Marriage Amendment because the decision is, in his mind, best left to the states. Arizona will vote on the issue itself, McCain says, and he hopes Arizona votes in support of "the sanctity of marriage." Tom's analysis goes onto astutely observe that McCain cosponsored the Arizona bill which would not only prohibit marriage but civil unions. Since "civil unions" are as close as anything to a comfortable middle ground between liberals and conservatives on this issue, a prudent observer should ask:
1) Where, in this kaleidoscope of views, does he exhibit any support (explicit or implicit) of gay rights? (Even Log Cabin Republicans would have a hard time with this one).
2) Where does he exercise any preference at all, except for state rights over federal prerogative?
3) How does he evade the fact that an Arizona bill that can only be overturned by a federal court (as opposed to a later Arizona legislature) undermines state rights?

and, perhaps most importantly,

4) Why are these all policies and decisions that we'd expect of a conservative lawmaker, and not a moderate?

To put it a little differently, consider this:
McCain recently spoke at both Jerry Falwell's Liberty University and the New School, using the same prepared remarks for both (he was both booed and protested at the latter). This is transparently an effort to reach out to both extremes. McCain is putting out a bid for the presidency. He knows that, as a Republican, he cannot win a primary if conservatives find a plausible alternative more likely to further their agenda. He also knows that, as a Republican, he cannot win the election if conservative voters stay home. He can see that there is great reservation about Democratic frontrunners, and he is banking on his reputation as a moderate among swing voters while solidifying his hold on the Right by backing policies they support.

Democrats, whoever they select, will face a similar dilemma. Since McCain has such grand across-the-aisle appeal, the Democratic candidate will almost certainly run conservative than usual, playing up fiscal conservatism and meaty defense spending. Dividing issues will probably be the tax cuts, civil liberties, and as always, the war in Iraq.

The bottom line is this:

Moderate liberals and swing voters should think very carefully before throwing their support behind a McCain presidency.

By voting Democrat, they might find themselves under a centrist president with an emphasis on fiscal restraint.

By voting for McCain, on the other hand, they might find themselves under a "moderate" Republican with fashionable rhetoric, yet who is beholden to a consituency that could fairly described as "staunchily conservative."


Understanding Postmodernism, #5.


This "project" is an informal discussion of modernism and postmodernism, ultimately to be applied to the larger Gothic Funk debate. A more detailed description of the project is available here. PLEASE ADD YOUR COMMENTS AND JOIN THE DEBATE:

Note: Gemma addressed the difficulty of analyzing an article sentence-by-sentence when it is intended to be read as an organic whole. Ultimately I see this project as progressive, so we'll be organically building on what has come before, but I think the forest-vs.-trees suggestion is valid. Within the next several days I will try to pin down an online copy of the complete article. If not, I will type it up myself on hereisnowhy. Look for an update soon.

Paragraph 2, Sentence 3:

Therefore, in the 19th century, artists began to develop their own account of what it meant to be modern.

Charles Altieri, "Modernism and Postmodernism," The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (1993), 792-796.


Lunas 11, 28.


- THE WEEKEND - On Friday, work got out early. I went to a Borders on 6th Ave., and explored. It's quite an amazing place, although at some $20 a pop, I can see why the free hours are so popular. After the museum closed, we walked all the way down 3rd Avenue to St. Marks, looking for the restaurant to which Lisa introduced me. We didn't find it. We ate at the Giant Bagel instead, then walked a block to the Regal theater where we met Matt, Maria, Katie, Peter, and several other friends to see X-Men. Which was massively disappointing. Though it was fun to go out with friends, and the Snakes on a Plane preview was sweet. Afterwards, we stopped out at a bar. Jess and I headed home a little after one and Cody soon followed.
- On Saturday, Cody read and I spent the first part of the day finishing the scavhunt blogs. We went out for a walk in Prospect Park with Katie (my first time there), and ran into Mac. Cody and I swung back, picked up pizza from Little Louie's, and we watched Street Fighter during dinner. Afterwards, we headed out to a new coffee shop that had opened up in Fort Greene, driven entirely by solar power. Back home, we watched SNL.
- On Sunday, Cody and I went to church at the Oratory. Jess decided to get some cleaning done while we were gone. After getting home, we rested up at home for a few minutes, the three of us walked out to the subway and rode it to coney island. We bought some sausages and pop, but mostly walked around, sat in the sand, and people-watched. On the way home, Cody and I stopped off at Daniel's to help him move out. Back home, Jess fixed us a meal of chicken curry, and after eating we went out for a walk. We took the favored walking route; down to the Navy Yard, Vinegar Hill, DUMBO, the Heights, and on back through downtown. We got cheesecake at Junior's, of course. By the time we got home, we were exhausted and fell asleep.
- On Monday, Cody spent most of the morning getting ready to go (though he did manage to forget his town and a book of poetry!). Jess fixed us quesadillas and beans and rice for lunch, and we saw Cody off. After that, I got some cleaning done and called home, but most of the day sucked. We did get to visit with Matt, Peter, and Maria a little bit later on, though, so that was nice.

- WEATHER - Storms are sweeping the nation from west to east in belts over the plains and the Appalachians, and some moving over Florida from the Atlantic. The first of these, in particular is problematic because the jet stream at that point drives almost due North and to the east is a strong high pressure front; this means that the storms will be slow moving, dumping up to three inches a rain an hour in some places. Flooding is an issue, particularly in issue.
It will also be a very warm week for the nation. The sole exception will be New England which will feel the effects of a "backdoor" cold front moving in off the Atlantic. There could be a thirty degree difference felt between Vermont and New York, for example.

- TIGERS - "New York handed the Tigers their second straight shutout, 4-0, in front of 39,759 hot and silenced fans at Comerica Park." We're still the #1 team in baseball.

- MAY - Is National Salsa Month.

" The clock talked loud. I threw it away, it scared me what it talked." -- Tillie Olsen.

Could you pass eighth grade Geography?

Everyone should ace that.

I got:

You Passed 8th Grade Geography

Congratulations, you got 7/10 correct!

One was a complete shot in the dark.
One I had the wrong answer too.
One mistake I could've avoided by being less careless.



Saturday, May 27, 2006

Scavhunt 2006 Post-Mortem: Resources for Scavvies!


It's been almost two weeks since the Great Hunt wrapped up, so perhaps you are almost over your Scavhunt Withdrawal. It's still going strong in me however, and everything was a little nostalgic this year since I don't know whether or if I will have a role in next year's Hunt.

Anyway, I've tried to compile a list of reasources for anyone interested in what happened between May 3rd and May 7th, 2006.
Please leave a comment or send me any links to relevant articles, blogs, YouTubes or YTMNDs, or other websites here.


University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt: Official Site
2006 List
Photo Gallery


The Chicago Maroon:
Make Scav about a product, not a process - May 26, 2006.
Max Palevsky's Team Wombat conquers Scav competition
- May 16, 2006.
For Spring's Sake - With a response posted by 2006 Head Judge, Courtney Prokopas. - May 16, 2006.
Scav Hunt party in Cobb shut down - May 16, 2006.
Scavvies prioritize, forget about sleep - May 12, 2006.

Slashdot. News for Nerds. Stuff that matters.:
The World's Largest Scavenger Hunt Returns - May 12, 2006.


Scavhunt 2006, Post #1. The Judges meet the Captains.
Scavhunt 2006, Post #2. List Release.
Scavhunt 2006, Post #3. Thursday.
Scavhunt 2006, Post #4. Thursday Night.
Scavhunt 2006, Post #5. Friday.
Scavhunt 2006, Post #6. Friday Night.
Scavhunt 2006, Post #7. Saturday.
Scavhunt 2006, Post #8. Justice Sunday.


Ashley: Participant, F.I.S.T.
Christian: Judge
Colin: Judge
Connor: Judge Emeritis
Jesse: Participant, F.I.S.T., photos.
Jonathan: Captain, Max Palevsky, photos and reflections.
Michael: Participant, F.I.S.T.
Victor: Judge


YouTube: Bon Jovi Air Band
YouTube: Inspirations 80s Montage


Periphrastic Films'The Hunt: Feature-length documentary of the 2002 Hunt.
University of Chicago, Campus Life: Traditions. Scavenger Hunt.
University of Virginia Scavenger Hunt: Our "sister hunt," founded by Jonathan Soma.
Wikipedia entry on the University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt.
Blue Skies Falling account of Scavhunt 2005.
Blue Skies Falling account of Scavhunt 2004.


May 2006: Trip to Chicago.

After Chicago.


The last two weeks of blogging have been mostly dominated by our Chicago trip and the Hunt, but they've actually been relatively eventful in-and-of-themselves. Jess has continued to prepare for her new job, which begins a week from Monday. I have started working four days a week (of from three, during the school year). I've also been compiling a list of things to do over the course of the summer, although as usual, there's too much on it, and I'm already falling behind.

On Wednesday, two days after we got back, I interviewed for a TA position opening at the New School, but I did not get it. On Friday, I cleaned our apartment from top to bottom, or at least gave it a solid once-over. Very soon, it might even be vaguely habitable.

That Saturday, Jess and I rented a car (we'd angled for an econobox for gas mileage, but they gave us a Jeep Liberty with Michigan plates) and drove out to Rochester. We got in after eight and met up with my parents, my brother and sister, and my grandmother and aunt.

We'd gone to celebrate my brother's graduation from Eastman School of Music. He received his Bachelors of Music Performance and Performer's Certificate. We sat up late in the Microtel and ate pizza. Caitlin and Jess and I shared a room, and we stayed up to watch Saturday Night Live.

Sadly, it was not followed up by Showtime at the Apollo.

The next morning we went into the city and saw the ceremony, which in some ways more formal and in others, noticeably less than others I've attended. Students were more open and eager to cheer for each other. One actually shed his gown to reveal a kimono beneath which he wore to accept his diploma. Afterwards, a reception was held in the lobby. A huge lobby, but not huge enough for the hundreds of parents and students. They served sherbet punch and cookies.

Dad and I went to Cody's dorm and helped him pack up his room to return to Michigan. Cody, however, had been scheduled for a different destination. We went out to a wonderful restaurant east of the city center, drank some wine and ate more food than we could handle. Then we returned to the Microtel, finished loading our vehicles, said goodbye, and started out.

Cody was riding with Jess and I. He has been visiting for the last week, and heads back to Michigan on Monday evening. He has probably packed more New York sights into the last week than I have seen ni the last nine months.

Back in New York (again) I went to work on Monday. I'd finished Sam's zombie book and decided one of my writing projects will be a short novel about zombies. I've been researching them. Jess and I signed up for NetFlix, and I got a Blockbuster Card. On Wednesday night, the three of us sat up and watched Night of the Living Dead. On Thursday, we'd been out of Chicago for the same amount of time as we'd been in Chicago. Cody and I watched Day of the Dead. I spent a lot of time blogging the Hunt. I've been learning about James Brown and Jimi Hendrix just as fast as I can. Yesterday, work got out early and I headed down to a Barnes and Noble to read about funk and zombies. I met Cody at Moma and we explored for several hours. I have pictures that I'll post soon. We walked down 3rd Avenue looking for a diner Lisa had taken me to. We did not find it. We ate at the Giant Bagel instead. We met Jess, Matt, Peter, Maria, and several other friends from Peter's program at NYU, and together the three of us saw the opening of the X-Men movie. I was soundly disappointed, althought the specially effects were pretty sweet. We went out to a bar afterwards, and drank several pitchers.

And now... I'm pretty much caught up on blogging.


Trip to Chicago, Part 15. The End of the Trip.


We left the Scavhunt postpart at around elevent and I coaxed Jessica into coming back to the Ukrainian Village with Sam and Sky. Ben came with us, and after stopping by Tom's to pick up the rest of our things, we were packed in the back like salted herring in a tin. Still, I could see the yellow carbon lights along Lake Shore rolling by through the haze, and then the skyscrapers once we'd switched over to the Dan Ryan. Sam dropped Sky, Jess, and I off at the apartment, and we brought our things upstairs. Sky had lost his voice in the last day-and-a-half, but he still managed to stay awake and tell stories for a good half-hour, including an exhortation toward Bill to understand the magnitude of what had just transpired.

Sky went to bed. Sam came home. Jess and I went to bed. The next morning, Sky woke me up before leaving for work, and we said goodbye. Later, Sam and Bill and I went out for breakfast at a nearby diner.

Then, when Sam was ready to leave for work, and we'd gotten our things all packed up, we walked down to Chicago and Western to wait for our bus. We said goodbye to Sam. We caught the bus and took it to 49th street. We got on the Orange Line. We rode it out to Midway Airport. Our flight was delayed so we sat in the terminal and read. I read The Zombie Survival Guide which Sam had lent me. Our flight happened without incident. We got back into New York at after seven at night. We took the bus to the subway, and the subway to Brooklyn. We got Little Louis pizza one block from our apartment. It was a great pizza, but it wasn't Deep Dish. The trip had ended.


Scavhunt 2006, Post #8. Justice Sunday.


Also known as Trip to Chicago, Part 14.

Photos here do not represent the most extensive documentation of these events.
For a more comprehensive catalogue, please see the Offical Scavhunt Gallery.

Later in the Hunt, I started forgetting to take my camera to events. As a result, my photos become more sporadic.

* * * * *

Judgment begins with the judging of the Road Trip teams.

239. _____ The following balloon animals: a horsey, a 19th century carousel, and a creature of your choice. [0.25 points, 10.75 points, and variable pointage based on awesomeness, respectively]

115. _____ A flying machine unlike any we've seen. [31 points]

The McPiece team's machine flew...

..but at what horrible price?

* * * * *


For roughly ten years scavhunt has featured items that qualify as obscenely huge, with massive number of points going into a complex and demanding set of requirements. Typically these items require some combination of connection, resources, imagination, and innovation, and a heavy dose of blood and hard labor. Since they may represent the Hunt's crowning achievement, we judge these items as a group. This serves the practical function of allowing us to judge collectively and by consensus, and the indulgent function of allowing both scavies and judges to see the badassest things around. The Showcase precedes the Judgment proper.

294. _____ The third coming of the Bassmobile. We're looking for some seriously vantastic action that at the very least should feature quadrophonic sound, a water bed, and a strobe light, along with a disco ball, lava lamp, shag carpeting, and a bumper sticker detailing a plan of action in the event that the vehicle is a-rockin'. It goes without saying that there should be a totally bitchin' Scav scene painted on the side. [125 points]┼

I didn't closely track which Wagon corresponded to which team. I've gotten lazy in my old age, as the quality of these posts probably suggests.

Best "bumper sticker detailing a plan of action in the event that the vehicle is a-rockin'."

Best "totally bitchin' Scav scene painted on the side."

Most happenin' wagon.

Max Palevsky conflates their vehicle with another item:

295. _____ An actual, live, present, non-impersonated famous person. University-affiliated persons not permitted.

  • level 1 -- local celebrity (Chicago weather man, that Empire Carpet guy, Stephen Baldwin) [1 to 20 points]

  • level 2 -- minor celebrity (former member of Megadeth, dude from MST3K, Daniel Baldwin) [21 to 50 points]

  • level 3 -- national star (Senator Obama, Michael Crichton, Billy Baldwin) [51 to 100 points]

  • level 4 -- international star (Kofi Annan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Alec Baldwin) [101 to 200 points]

  • level 5 -- Mike Royko, of the Chicago Tribune. [A bajillion points]

Getting in on the action.

We got a lot of quality on the following item:

52. _____ A walk-in kaleidoscope. [200 points]┼

BJ's Keleidoscope (from the inside).

Shoreland's totally sweet Kaleidoscope (from the outside).

Snitchcock's Kaleidoscope (from the inside).

Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of Max P's Kaleidoscope, which also incorporated another item:

267. _____ Use a trampoline in conjunction with any other item on the list to make that item more awesome. [5 points. Use once, use wisely]

While not techniclly Showcase:

276. _____ A Lego replication of an M.C. Escher drawing. [12 points]

What follows is also not a part of Showcase, but is worth including because of the success of the results and the number of people involved:

166. _____ The veterans of the Cola Wars demand a fitting tribute. Give them a spectacular simultaneous 21 two-liter and Mentos(R) salute! [21/2 spectacular points]

+ + +

+ + +

And finally, the results of Bike Pimping:

Bike Parade!

* * * * *


Now regular judging commenced. Since Jess and I were Jess emeriti this year, we took on the perennially shunned task of sitting in the 1st Floor West Lounge and tabulating the points (not the Way West Lounge, but the Slightly West Lounge). I did, however, manage to sneak out and take a few pictures of chaos spending itself.

Surprisingly, there were fun moments of point tabulating. As we moved my page after page, we were the first to see the final results of the Hunt taking place. And we also computed that two teams were within a few points of a tie. We invited them to either agree to tie or to read the results in order, notwithstanding the closeness. I am happy to report that Austin of McPierce and Nora of BJ, two of my favorite scavvies, agreed to allow their worthy teams to tie:

* * * * *


Having tabulated all the scores, it was time to announce the winners. First, we discarded the practice of reading from last place to first, with the astonishing conclusion that Weathorr had won with a million bajillion points for all of the blocks of Hyde Park he'd permanently cast into darkness. But seriously now: We concluded that Team Judge had won for being the only team to successfully capture a live bee. Okay, for real this time: The UC Dems came in last with 1 point, closely followed by the last minute entreant, the UC Republicans who got 2 points.


Ninth Place

Eighth Place
The Broadview

Sixth Place

MacPierce and Burton-Judson

Fifth Place
The Shoreland

Fourth Place
Broover House

Third Place
The F.I.S.T.

Second Place

First Place
Max Palevsky

I do not have any photos of the final announcements, including final winners of the Scavhunt Rookie All-Stars or the Poet Laureate competition. God-willing, someone will post some photos on the gallery.

* * * * *


After our dreary annual cleaning of Ida Noyes, with rain threatening, we started back for HQ. Except... a detour was in order:

Several of our items were in reference to the University's outgoing musicologist president, Professor Randall. (A) team(s) left us with these items, and we put them to the best use we knew:

131. _____ Presidents so giant they're called gigantones. Build Randall or Dylan and bring him to Justice Sunday. Now dance puppet, dance! I wann see those arms swing. [32 points]

243. _____ Present outgoing President Tony Randall with a memorial plaque engraved with his classic lines from The 7 Faces of Dr. Lao. [12 points]

Back at HQ we spent a half-hour cleaning up our messes, vacuuming, and putting Courtney's apartment back in order. Then we sat around and talked about the items that had struck us as memorable. Then, one by one, we dispersed, although we planned to converge, nasty weather notwithstanding, on the point with any scavvies hardcore enough to brave the taunts of Weathorr.

Jess and I stopped back at Tom's, took showers, and cleaned up. We arrived at the Point where we met up with a solid third of judges and about twenty scavvies from all over the map.

Steve Cicala started this tradition just last year with his "let's gather on the 57th street beach, drink beer, and fire potato cannons." This year we had s'mores and bottles of pharmaceutically enhanced carbonated beveredges. Teams told their stories and we hung out there for several hours. It was wet and misty, but not too cold. I cannot think of a better way to have ended the hunt.



Friday, May 26, 2006

Understanding Postmodernism, #4.


This "project" is an informal discussion of modernism and postmodernism, ultimately to be applied to the larger Gothic Funk debate. A more detailed description of the project is available here. PLEASE ADD YOUR COMMENTS AND JOIN THE DEBATE:

Paragraph 2, Sentence 2:

Unfortunately, however, the myths of lucidity and progress also exacted an exorbitant price by fostering social and psychological economies that threatened all those humane values elaborated by the displaced aristocratic culture.

Charles Altieri, "Modernism and Postmodernism," The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (1993), 792-796.


Lunas 7, 28.


- YESTERDAY - I watched Day of the Dead with Cody, cleaned some, and later on, Jess and Cody and I went to a housecooling party thrown by Daniel, a New School friend. Mostly, though, I worked on the last several entries for this blog.

- SCAVHUNT ENTRIES - They're almost finished, and I'd hoped to be through by today for the party (which I cannot attend, living many hundreds of miles away). I will still attempt to do this, but at the latest, I should be finished tomorrow.

- WEATHER - There will be a couple hairy weather patches today; storms in the South, rain along the East Coast, and cooling in the Pacific Northwest. For the most part, though, Memorial Weekend will be as fine as its ever been.

- PISTONS - Freep headline: DETROIT 92, MIAMI 88: Now, exhale
- TIGERS - KC put up a fight yesterday, but with three runs in the ninth, the Tigers ended the game with emphasis.

- MAY - Is the month of mental health.
- MAY - Is also the month of bicycles.
- MONDAY - Is Memorial Day (observed).
- HAPPY BIRTHDAY - Today: Sally Ride and Lenny Kravitz. Tomorrow: Rachel Carson and Christopher Lee. Monday: Dante Alighieri.


Okay, I really couldn't stay away from this one.
What kind of writer should you be?
(Blogthings is a phase).

You Should Be A Poet

You craft words well, in creative and unexpected ways.
And you have a great talent for evoking beautiful imagery...
Or describing the most intense heartbreak ever.
You're already naturally a poet, even if you've never written a poem.