Friday, August 27, 2010

My Shoes Took Me So Many Miles And They Never Wore Out

Following the previous entry's pit stop at Cadillac Ranch, I eventually made my way down to Austin, Texas to spend time with one of my best friends. Our schedules are so jam packed that the only opportunity we were going to have to see each other this summer was if I drove fourteen hours to help her move in to her new apartment.

So I did. And it was awesome.

I previously went to school just outside of Austin and have therefore come to love it there. The art, the music, the weather. Oh wait, not the weather. Definitely not the weather. It was 108 when I started my journey back from Austin. Not okay.

While I was there, we hit up all of the classic Austin spots including Barton Springs, Alamo Drafthouse, Torchy's Tacos and, of course, the Lorax wanted to see Daniel Johnston's Hi, How Are You? mural at the corner of 21st and Guadalupe.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cadillac Ranch

I spent today driving nearly ten hours from Santa Fe to Dallas. Ok, three hours. My mom did most of the driving.

I spent today driving in a car for nearly ten hours.

How's that?

Definitely didn't notice the message on the second car from the front when I was actually there. Haha, how nice.
Along the trip from New Mexico to Texas is Cadillac Ranch, the art installation from the 70s in Amarillo, Texas that features different models of Cadillacs stuck into the ground.

I remember driving past this on family trips a million times when I was younger. Except, I never really knew where we were on family trips so I didn't think we were passing the same place every time. I thought it was just something some farmers did across the nation. Place up-ended cars into the dirt of their fields and paint them funny colors. Seemed normal enough to me.

Having never actually stopped to look at the cars up close, Lorax and I decided to finally check it out today. Unfortunately, it was a rather spontaneous decision so we didn't have any spray paint with which to leave our mark (anyone can spray paint anything onto the ten Cadillacs, but the place is so popular that messages don't stay visible for very long... and that may be another reason I can be excused for not recognizing the site when I was younger since the exteriors of the cars are always changing... nah, there's no excuse for me). We tried searching a nearby shop (aka the only shop in this middle of nowhere site) for some spray paint, but to no avail. Hopefully, we'll be better prepared the next time we pass by, which should be in only a few days time.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

You Holla, We Follow Our Favorite Jock

Anyone been keeping up with the MTV Twitter Jockey thing? Yeah, me neither.

So, anyone who is friends with me on twitter knows that I follow about four times as many people as I am followed by. This is something I actively tried to avoid when I first got a twitter. No, seriously, I did. I felt it would be strange to be following so many more people than I am followed by. I felt like people would judge me for it. I mostly thought this because I judge people for it.

Why the judgement? I honestly have no idea.

Maybe it's something about appearing to want to have lots of friends, but really only managing to have a few. Or appearing overeager. Or desperate. Or something... Really, I can't pinpoint the reason, but it definitely bothers me.

However, something has occurred to me lately. Couldn't it be seen as better to follow more people than you are followed by? Wouldn't that show that you care more what other people are saying than who is reading what you say? Sort of like being primarily a listener rather than a talker.

Don't get me wrong, I am pretty vocal on twitter and have more than my fair share of completely pointless tweets. Yet, I think my unbalanced follower-following ratio indicates that, despite frequent tweets like the ones linked to above, my predominant use of twitter is to see what other people are saying.

Assuming the paradigm that the only people I'm directing my tweets to are the people I actually know, the following chart implies that I am doing much more reading than tweeting and that my main use of twitter is to keep up with the world, not to broadcast my life to it.

Who I Follow On Twitter
I keep my twitter page open whenever I'm online and check it on my iPhone compulsively, but I don't actually post a message every time I check it. I look at the trends to see if there's a huge news story I'm missing (remember last summer when there was a new deceased celebrity in the trend everyday? I still freak out anytime I see the name of a celebrity I admire in the trends in case it means they died) and scroll through my feed for announcements of events happening around town, concert ticket giveaways, contests and typically some brooding quotes from Yoko Ono or Shakespeare.

A few months ago, I blogged about Such Tweet Sorrow, which put Romeo and Juliet into a modern day context and tweeted the play as if in real life with actors tweeting each of the characters. Aciman and Rensin have also live tweeted books in a more modern day context and now there's a man taking three years to tweet the entire Bible by summarizing a passage each day.

There's so much to do on twitter besides tweeting about my salt and vinegar addiction that, at this point, I don't even know how I could be expected to garner as many followers as accounts I follow. All of the people who I follow that I actually know (i.e. not internet celebrities or companies) follow me in return. I mean, I'm not famous or anything so why should anyone who doesn't know me have any clue that my twitter account even exists?

At any rate, this is just something I've been thinking about lately as I try to justify breaking 200 in my following list and barely scraping a deck of cards worth of followers. What can I say? As much as I don't like that new "who to follow" feature, it kind of sucked me in.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Rosewell, NM

Last week, my friend, Josh, the Lorax and I took a day trip to Roswell. The town was the site of the 1947 alien autopsy. In 1995, Ray Santilli made a fake version of the alleged footage and sold it to broadcasting networks around the world. How do I know about Santilli when I was only five at the time the footage aired? Because Ant and Dec were in a movie about him. How else do I learn anything these days?

Roswell itself was pretty disappointing. I mean, I didn't expect much from it, but I at least expected some cool and amusing things at the UFO Museum. I was envisioning something like a children's science museum, but with "alien artifacts" and crazy people wearing antennae à la Muppets from Space.

Here's the Lorax outside of the UFO Museum. Notice the cryptic alien scrawls on the underside of the flying saucer above his head. 
The museum, it turned out, was kind of like a pre-school with no budget. And I'm not just talking about the fact that I'm pretty sure no one in there was actually literate. It was simply a big open room with various newspaper clippings, photographs and artwork pinned onto those cork board room divider things. And they charged us $5 for that.

To be fair, they charge because they're saving for a real state of the art museum. If that ever happens, I'll return, but not until then.

The museum included highly informative documents like the one above
As for the rest of the town... well, it reminded me a lot of Forks, Washington. Forks is the town where the Twilight series takes place. The actual town part consists of a three block strip of stores, restaurants and hotels. That's it. Seriously. There aren't even any other roads. Just the one. And every single establishment on that road is plastered with Edward Cullen photos, using Twilight as a means to boost visitors. Sadly, but truly, Twilight is the only thing Forks has going for it.

I spent all of ten minutes in Forks so I didn't take very many good photos
Roswell, though significantly larger than Forks, was the same story. Aliens were painted on every corner  and the street lamps were even made into alien heads like the Kiss street lamps in Hershey, PA.

click on the collage to see the images up close
Even though I knew I couldn't like go to the exact location where they found the alien, I had still been hoping something equally awesome would exist in Roswell. Maybe a tour of all the important locations during the autopsy. Or a museum that doesn't look like a storage unit. Or something.

At the very least, I can now say I've been to Roswell, which is something, right?

Also, because it is amazing,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Young Me/Now Me

Ze Frank has started a new project called Young Me/Now Me, where he asks people to email him photos of themselves as kids and then another photo re-enacting the situation, or in the same position or place.

I posted my favorite coincidentally similar photo set of myself last winter, but here's another one from Summer 2003 and this past spring. It's not the one I'm going to submit to Young Me/Now Me because I have better plans for that, but it's still fun for now.

So glad I got rid of those bangs.