Culture Corner – April 2014

 

2014 03-28 When is it Art?Most of this post will be about my awesome Nerd Weekend with Pax East 2014 and Captain America, but to start I’ll pretend to be much artsier than I really am.

If you’ve followed this blog for a while you know I’m obsessed with miniature street art. More recently I’ve been focusing on text and wondering whether text is art and if not where do they merge/diverge. I’m guessing this comes from starting to listen to the 99% Invisible podcasts a few weeks ago. A few weeks before I started listening I had to go to Lowell, MA for the a day long conference (which was actually a lot of fun) and one of the first things I noticed in this former industrial town was all of the text: old industrial signs, old advertisements, building/company sings and street signs. And then I just happened to look down at the cross walk (I was looking for the ridged spinning thing for blind people) and I noticed the above text. And I just thought it was kind of cool and even though it’s totally practical, it’s become a part of public space and to me is a type of art! And now for the nerdiness!

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Book 23: The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

Atwood, Margaret - The Handmaid's TaleI can’t believe it’s been over five years since I last read this incredible novel. But thinking about it as I write this I’m not too surprised. I last read this while working on a paper for my MA and that paper didn’t go well, because I apparently didn’t “understand how to apply gender theory” and I was given the opportunity to completely re-write the paper.

I was incredibly pissed at the insult, because that’s how I took it, and I spent a lot of time rewriting the paper in such a way as to insult my professors and the program. In no uncertain terms I stated that gender theory does not preempt every other theory and that scholars needed to be incredibly careful of over-stepping their bounds. I did eventually receive a passing grade and they invited back to pursue a PhD (I declined), but it left a sour taste in my mouth.

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Workout Wednesday – April 2014

2014 04-08 Fool's Dual T-Shirt and BibSo remember in May and June of last year when I started Workout Wednesday’s? Remember my passionate statements, in both posts, “I hate running”? Don’t believe me, go to the homepage and search “I hate running,” keep the quotation marks because it’s in there exactly and both of those posts will come up. What’s funny is this entire post is pretty much just about running!

While I wouldn’t put it at the top of my favorite things list, I’ve definitely gotten to the point where I find enjoyment in it. I really must, in April I even read a book about running (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running) and I somehow convinced myself to put both a 10k and a half-marathon on my 30 before 30 list. I’m also overly excited about being able to run outside again and take long walks where Caroline and I plan out our lives now the days are longer and the weather much more cooperative, so clearly there’s been some change of heart…

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30 x 30: #1 – Run A Sub 36:00 5k

2014 04-06 - Hello Sub-36min 5kTwo down, twenty-eight to go! I didn’t think I would be crossing the physical ones off quite this rapidly, but no complaints from me! No idea what will be next, but probably not one of the physical ones.

To be completely honest, this was one of those that I knew for a fact I would get to, but I honestly thought it would be later in the year. I’ve kept at it and coming in under 36:00 was a bit of a surprise. This 5k was a part of the Fool’s Dual in Gloucester, MA and it was a beautiful course. My friends Hayley and Caroline (from my first 5k in December) signed up to run the half-marathon so Nick, Caroline’s fiancé, and I signed up for the 5k. We then convinced Caitrin to run the half-marathon and Dan to run the 5k from our trivia team to join us!

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30 x 30: #4 – Go Trampolining

2014 03-29 Trampolining Ticket SkyZone2014 03-29 Trampolining At SkyZoneOne down, twenty-nine to go! I added this to my 30 x 30 list because my friends have gone multiple times and I’ve never been able to coordinate it so I could go :( I honestly assumed this wouldn’t happen for a while, but my roommates, Matt and Mike, randomly decided to get a group together and I was shockingly available so we went! Our friends Alex, Patrick and Tom went with us and it was so much fun and, honestly, hilarious. :)

Think about, it how seriously can you take your friends when you’re surrounded by teenagers and you’re jumping on giant trampolines playing dodgeball or flying into a foam pit? You can’t! And that’s what was so great about it. At one point I thought Matt and Mike were doing some weird Street Fighter thing and then I realized Matt was trying to show Mike how to do a belly flop. I still like the idea of trampoline Street Fighter, but I’m not going to lie at one point we were jumping up and down doing poses and ridiculous contortions with our bodies like ballerinas and supermodels and it just made it that much funnier. We did everything except for the basketball dunk shots and you can see one of the venues (not the one we went to) that shows the foam pit, dodge ball and general court.

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