It could have been terrible, but it was actually a good time.
This past Saturday, myself, Janice, and Amelia from CMU GSA headed up to Eden Hall Farm the newest acquisition of Chatham University. There we met up with Byron & Emily from Pitt, and Julie, Patrick, Dan, Tiffany, David, and Doug from Chatham. We had a good afternoon, grilled food, ate food, discussed grad studenty things. I am looking forward to working more with Pitt & Chatham, I think the last year has been good and I hope the collaborations continue. I believe Julie, Chatham’s new GSA president, is right in that continuing to improve the graduate student relationships within the city of Pittsburgh, will help keep young educated professionals in the city. Or, we can hope.
As for the Eden Hall Farm house, itself, you should check out the pictures (click photo above to see the whole set) was really great, I look forward to having more events there. It reminded me of my days back at RIT, and our LEAD retreats. The industrial kitchen, the large lodge type house. The only thing that didn’t quite fit was the right-out-of-There-Will-Be-Blood bowling alley in the basement. Which was amazing, and functional, and we bowled a little — though setting up the pins after every frame gets really tiresome. But there is just this right out of the past, creepy movie-set feel to the whole place, which in my mind makes it the perfect place to take graduate student leaders.
I am clearly a big fan of order.
So, as Danny and I had to present at IEEE VisWeek 2008: InfoVis (below), We thought we might as well make a weekend of it and hang out in Columbus.
So we stayed right downtown, and right across the street from the conference at the luxurious Red Roof Inn. And I say that sarcastically but the place was actually really nice and considering we had no room reservation until we walked into the lobby I think we did pretty well.
So we head up to the room to drop off our things, and as we walk into the room we notice they have left the microwave running for us. No seriously, the microwave was on. And on for some riduculous amount of time which may have been 13 minutes or 13 hours left, who knows. But the whole room smelled like a hairdryer had been running for too long.
So we turned that off, and left the microwave door open. And went out to explore the streets of Columbus. As we quickly learned, many exciting people hang out in Columbus, and many of them want to be photographed. We were twice (within fifteen minutes) approached by people who wanted us to take their picture. I don’t understand it. I just shoot the pictures.
The first man asked me to take his photograph, and then said he was a social worker, offering it up as a reason for his need to be photographed. Check.
Our second and more exciting subjects, asked us why we were taking pictures. Well, buildings? art? tourism? Then after checking to make sure we were not the po-lice they posed for us. Then after we took their pictures, they asked us what we were going to do with them. Here, we offered no answers … “umm, nothing?”
We had dinner at Tony’s Italian Ristorante which I think I would only give three stars. The food was alright, but not spectacular, and probably not worth what we paid.
Then we went straight to the Book Loft. The Book Lofts are these old rowhouse type cottages that have all been merged together with seemingly just some saws and some bookshelves. The place is broken into thirty two rooms and there are maps in each room to help you find your way around as well as little yellow sticky notes on the floor to help you find your way out. It’s a maze. A maze of books. Heaven.
So I told Danny to cut me off at ten, and I think I only got nine! (And a stylish dark brown canvas bag so that I can advertize for them around Pittsburgh I suppose.)
Then we headed back to the hotel and we planning to you know, make some slides for our presentation the next morning, but instead got hungry and I convinced Danny we should go get a snack. Turns out I picked a restaurant that was, with no exaggeration twenty feet from the door of the hotel. I didn’t even need a coat! Flatiron Bar and Diner was a great pick. They specialize in southern, cajun/creole, and it was a neat building, good atmosphere, good food. Danny got the gumbo and I got fries covered in balsamic vinegar, red pepper flecks, and melted Vermont cheddar. So good. And my lips tingled with the spicyness.
So much to post. Friday was fun. The cathedral is lit these days as part of the Pittsburgh Festival of Lights. I took some photos. Danny posted one. We also wandered around CMU at night, which was nice. We scared a guy who was making a bunkbed. We printed a poster for Marissa. Then we played Dr. Mario. End of Friday, more soon.
So basically I took a bunch of pictures many of which are of these four sculptures. The sculptures are separated into two pairs. “The Arts of War” are “Valor” and “Sacrifice” and they each guard one side of Arlington Memorial Bridge, which leads from the Lincoln Memorial to Arlington Cemetery, and “The Arts of Peace” which are “Music & Harvest” and “Aspiration & Literature” which are situated on each side of Rock Creek Parkway, just north of Arlington Memorial Bridge.
This includes the picture above, that is Sacrifice in the foreground and Valor in the background. Anyway I guess I had never been back around there (they are basically behind Lincoln) and so many of the pictures feature them, and you can read more about them here.
Yes, seriously – as I posted here just over a month ago, John McCain came to Carnegie Mellon to give some important speech on the economy and I was part of the student group that got to meet him. Here is an awkwardly fish-eyed picture which seems to be taken from ground level. From left to right:
- Adi – CMU (student) Vice President
- Eileen – AB Chair
- Sara – CMU Economics
- John McCain – Just a guy.
- Me – Grad Student President
- Ben – Token Republican
- Sean – CMU (student) President
So … enjoy that.
Update: Yes, I wear jeans to meet John McCain, it’s cool.
So. Happy Spring Carnival. The Roots played today on campus and I don’t really listen to that kind of music. But i spent hours and hours outside today, talking with Aaron (happy birthday!) and watching people with Marissa, and then enjoying the concert atmosphere with Kristen & Liz so that was cool. It is just a great time of year. I posted photos from random things this spring that had not yet been posted yet here and the ones from today are all taken with my new lens – just a cheap little Canon 50mm, which I keep trying to zoom, but there is no zoom, so my fingers just spin around the lens with nothing to do but fail.
So about the camera, I think she’s done.
This happened sometime between Ohio and Pittsburgh last weekend, I think. I think it happened in the car, though I mostly think it was from temperature changes than being banged. All of that damage is under the surface, and the rest of the camera is fine (it still takes pictures, and the USB still works-so nothing was lost). This does however severly inhibit my ability to take pictures since I can’t see things like … modes the camera is in, at all.
So it is sad, but I am taking it as some sort of sign from fate that I should be sketching more with ink or just looking at life (or as some have suggested, that I should have bought a Nikon). But either way, for a while it will stay broken and I will remember the way a lesser tech world worksâ€“and anyway I have my little Casio.
dilation in only certain directions.
I am still working through my pictures from the trip, today I finished South Dakota, and going through the pictures of the Badlands I remembered (or possibly for the first time realized) how beautiful they really were. I actually believe I would like to go back.