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Maker Faire == ++good

Bless those who use their volunteer mojo to distribute free passes to us lazy slack bastards who can’t be bothered to get an early discounted ticket: Em was kind enough to offer me a pass which was a wonderful way to end a truly suck-ass week of invasive dentistry, stoopifying painkillers and craptacular health.  The weather was gorgeous as I headed out to the expo grounds fairly late in the afternoon.  Bug, Em and I did a round of the craft booths, then I was sucked into the scrap metal and Tap Plastics area.  We watched some laser etchings in progress and I got a sweet t-shirt featuring a lady drumming with a screaming tiger for a head.  ISHians were out in force and kicked ass in bringing the fountain out.  It seemed like a respite spot for folks who had had a lot of robot and tesla coils buzzing about all day and just needed a break.  Jack, Sarah, Dr. John and JP brought out a crazy cake-pinball machine and rescued me with a fizzy water when I was starting to wilt.

My favorite project this year was a model train setup (HO scale, of course, shout out to my Dad!) made by an architect who had a knack for finding perfect mid-century flotsam, glueing it together and backlighting it.  It was a lovely 50s sci-fi City of The Future! setup and I loved it for combining such an old school nerd hobby with sexy junk recycling by way of Amazing Stories circa 1954.  Update: I found the builder’s url – http://sites.google.com/site/megamodelsite/   The day was capped off by a very wrong gypsyPunkMarchingBand from Chicago who freaking rocked.

The weirdos were out in force and many brought their kids.  Freaks in training: I’m for it.

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Berlin by Bike

After many misfires, we finally acquired bikes for both of us. M at a bike store and I at the Prenzlauer Berg flea market in MauerPark on Sunday. Yesterday was the first day it wasn’t wet in a while so we went on a long jaunt into Mitte and stumbled into the dark heart of tourist Berlin. Souvenir shops! At least they are on cobblestone street and not in stripmalls. We found the Lustgarten, which had been transformed into a gallery by the addition of huge statues of nude women and men with a trend toward gigantic muscular asses. One such ass got slapped by an elderly Spaniard whose wife chuckled at him. The exhibit ruined any feeling of wanting to laze about in the grass, however, so we moved along after listening to the 6 o’clock bells from the Berliner Dome.

From the Lustgarten we rode west down the Spree across the museum island (Museuminsel) and then onto this long, lovely paved path through the midst of all the crazy modernist state architecture. I took a lot of pictures and told myself I was on a scouting mission for Kia, since her pictures would be so much more lovely. We took pictures of each other in the future before the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (The House of World Cultures).

M in the Future!

Truly we are moving at the speed of light.

It was getting dark so we set into the Tiergarten and ran into the Licht Berlin exhibit. Licht Berlin was a two week exhibit of light art meant for nighttime meandering. It was a bit underwhelming, especially after witnessing some of the wonderful light/electric art at Burning Man, but it made for a nice bike ride because Tiergarten is really dark at night so it was spooky and you could follow the lights through the trees. After that we rode past the Brandenburg Gate which was surrounded by tents and crews cleaning up from the Berlin Marathon (40,000 runners we were told) which had run the day before.

I was getting cold and hungry so we consulted the bike map and found our way to Oranienstr. in Kreuzberg were we found a nice Italian place called Ossesa. The waitstaff was incredibly friendly and it actually had a non-smoking room upstairs where we could look out over the street and spy into people’s apartments. This town believes in delicious and cheap half-liters of wine. I am so behind that.

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Pela in Austin

M and I went to see Pela play at The Mohawk Friday night. Like dorks we showed up early after reading on their tour blog they were going on at 10, but they went on around 1. Happily the other bands playing that night were pretty good and we wiled away the hours on the terrace above the outdoor stage getting tipsy and enjoying the view and breeze. (Breeze being crucial here, because the heat has finally hit.) By 1 there were maybe 40-50 people left so there was none of that bothersome halter-top-wearing-chick-elbowing business happening. whew
Pela was awesome. Noisy, hooting, rockin. (db, the bassist played a Korg you would drool over. Knobtastic.) I’ve been addicted to their new album for about a month since I heard them on KEXP playing live and John-in-the-Morning ranting about them. SO GOOD. Need new crack? Please step this way to Anytown Graffiti. Also, for the five people reading this: live show: highly recommended:

08/14 Los Angeles, CA – Spaceland
08/15 San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
08/17 Portland, OR – Doug Fir
08/18 Seattle, WA – KEXP BBQ
08/21 Minneapolis, MN – 400 Bar
08/25 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom

The band is super nice. Go say hi to them afterwards.

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Flipside 2007 (aka All Hail Ishtanbul)

I returned late in the evening Monday night from an extremely muddy Flipside out at Flat Creek. It was raining sideways when I arrived and I spent the next few hours being pissed off at the ridiculous conditions I was setting up camp in. After a bit I let go of the concepts of “clean” and “dry” and it got to be a hell of a lot more fun.

This was probably my best Flipside, in terms of new connections and personal transformation. I’ve been in a terrible funk the last couple of months and I had my brain dumped out on the ground and sorted through in the rain, only to put some freshly washed contents back in the bin. The themecamp I was with was full of wonderful, hard working, low-drama people and we had many lovely and comfortable places to hang out and enjoy each others’ company. Saturday night had much adventuring with friends and late in the morning Steve played the best set of music in the Hagia Sofia that I have heard since Burning Man 2002. It made it cry it was so perfect and beautiful. The sun put me to bed that night and I woke up a few hours later feeling so much better.

The effigy burn was good but Alissa’s Soulflight temple burn was truly beautiful, with an iron phoenix rising out of the petals as the flower burnt away. I have some amazing friends.

Here’s a pic of one of the arches we built over the road. It was taken from the other arch.

Ish Arch

(pic courtesy of g0saru)

We did not fuck around this year, some shit got Done! w00t!

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Parking Lot Superhero

So, I’m standing by our big glass garage door talking to my coworker when something bright catches my eye. Jumping out of an SUV comes a superhero! Blue tights and leotard! Red cape! Bright yellow fins on his shoulders and yellow underwear and knee-high boots! He pauses to fix his hair in the car window, then leans into the vehicle to get… his superhero tool belt? Ray gun? NO!

HIS MEGAPHONE!

And so he was off, to fight crime and harrass the hungovers on 6th street.

Go SXSW.

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