Friday, April 17

seventeen: shrouds

oh the mist thismorning. and this yellow / white / yellow / mist  / green / grey color palette caught my eye as I walked somewhat disorientedly around a slightly different part of campus. it seemed worth capturing.

in other news:

writing this.

Thursday, April 16

sechzehn: playful

for German 212 today, I gave a small presentation--auf Deutsch, of course. a few weeks back I wrote an outline for it, auf Englisch, sloppily translated it, reviewed it with Claudia, and spent the intervening days practicing a bunch. the presentation itself is all over now, and it went very well. my classmates enjoyed it and asked gute Fragen. I thought I'd remediate my script into a blogpost, mainly for the thrill of having written a thing in another language. it is not very sophisticated, but nevertheless my German-speaking friends might enjoy it. and maybe some German-speaking strangers, too? who knows.

ich werde heute über das „Spiel des Jahres” Preis schreiben. das ist ein jährliche Preis für neue Karte- und Brettspiele. jedes Jahr ist das Preis zu eine neue, innovative Spiel gegeben. hier ist eine Liste von alle preisgekrönt Spiele. habt ihr eines von dieser Spiele schon gespielt oder davon gehört? ich habe nur vier gespielt. ich will Quirkle und Scotland Yard auch spielen.

die Geschichte des „Spiels des Jahres" anfängt auf 1978. es war die Idee von Jürgen Herz. er und eine Gruppe von deutschsprachige Journalists und Spielkritikern in Deutschland, Österreich, und der Schweiz haben das Preis gegründet. im nächsten Jahr--1979--war die erste Preis gegeben.

das Preis honoriert Neuheiten in Spieldesign. es gibt vier Beurteilungskriterien:

1 - Spielbarkeit
2 - Spielregeln und Dokumentation
3 - Materialien und Arbeiterschaft
4 - das Design

ein Haupt Preis ist jedes Jahr gegeben zum besten Spiel. manchmal werden auch spezielle Preise verliehen. das “Kinderspiel des Jahres” ist fur Kinderspiele gegeben. das “Kennerspiel des Jahres” ist für mehr hochentwickelte oder spezialisierte Spiele. zeitweise gibt es Preise für Party-Spiele, literarische Spiele, geschichtliche Spiele, oder die schönsten Spiele.

das „Spiel des Jahres” ist ein Preis ohne Preisgeld. noch ist es eine große und hoche Auszeichnung. ein „Spiel des Jahres” Preis macht ein Spiel sogar noch populärer, und veranlasst mehr Verkäufe. die preisgekrönt Spiele können drei Hunderttausend zu fünf Hunderttausend Andrücke verkäufen. gegen eine Gebühr, können die preisgekrönt Spiele das „Spiel des Jahres” Logo lizenzieren. sie können das Logo auf Kartons, Websites, und andere verkaufsfördernde Materialien drucken. also, dadurch bekommen die Spiele mehr Beachtung und macht die Spiele bekannter. Menschen sagen das aufgrund des “Spiels des Jahres” Deutschland produziert viel mehr gute Spiele.

jetzt, drei Beispiele: Catan, Zug um Zug, und Dixit.

Catan--oder die Siedler von Catan--hat das „Spiel des Jahres” in 1995 gewonnen. es ist ein Spiel über Tauschhandel und Aufbau--einfach zu spielen und sehr populär. diese Spiel hat Brettspiele sehr populär gemacht.
Settlers of Catan

Zug um Zug ist ein Spiel mit--natürlich--Züge. Es gibt viele Versionen, die in Europa, USA, Asia, Nederland, Indien oder Skandinavien spielen.

Dixit ist eine kreative Ratespiel. es gibt Karten mit nur Bildern. es hat das „Spiel des Jahres” in 2010 gewonnen.

so, diese sind nur drei von allen der preisgekrönten Spiele. am 18. Mai, wird die Nominierungen fur das “Spiel des Jahres” 2015 bekanntgemacht. welche neuen Spiele worden wohl dieses Jahr das Preis gewinnen? es wird spannend sein, das herauszufinden.

das Ende.

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Wednesday, April 15

fifteen: the ides of April

I drove to campus today. there were things to carry, so I thought I'd let my car help me carry them.

and then as I left my office this afternoon, I walked to the nearest bus stop out of habit, and I stood there with my hands in my pockets for about six minutes, watching one bus go by (the bus that regularly comes right before the bus I usually ride), and then suddenly realizing that if I took the bus home, my car would still be parked in a random sidestreet on the campus-side of town until who knows when.

this realization came to me at just the right moment. thankfully I had already noticed this poster on the side of the bus shelter:

but thankfully the bus had not yet come to collect my auto-piloting self all the way across the river. yeah, my car and I  probably would've both been fine spending a night in separate zipcodes... but it's probably better that I remembered her and brought her home.

more importantly, there is Shakespeare happening this week. some of my favourite Shakespeare, in fact. I think I will make space to attend, and perhaps embark on another summer Shakespeare project.

next month the Stonesoup Shakespeare people will be taking Much Ado About Nothing on tour. last summer friend Lori and Liz and co. all went to see their version of As You Like It, and it was quite a jolly time. let's all go again. okay?

Tuesday, April 14

fourteen: jährlich

I was flipping through my calendar book during a meeting earlier today and I saw the scribbled line "last year I was in Paris" there in the third week of February.

February seems like a long time ago. it's April now. I'm using some time of every day to write here in this little blog. why?

cuz I wanted to. why else?

so where was I last year in April?

I was planning for summer in Scotland. looking back, I did not take enough pictures with people in them. I never do.

and the year before that? I was still in Texas. doodling.

and three years ago? three years ago I knew almost nothing about Joni Mitchell.

before that I was pre-gradschool. I was still calling this adventure "plan B."

a lot of cool things happened during the springtime of 2010. it was beautiful. I blogged more about books and other people.

the other side of the country was home five years ago. three wide timezones away now. I wonder what happened to that Japanese maple.

I lived on a whole different planet in 2008. blogging didn't exist there.

in 2007 I had a cold.

and the year before that I was a college senior, scrapbooking recent memories and ignorant of what the next ten years might be made of.

Monday, April 13

thirteen: unlucky

not even the heady scent of fresh-mown grass or the sweep of springtime clouds and breezes--not even a strawberry ice cream cone--none of it, nothing--has succeeded in lifting me up out of this well (deep, deepening, deeper than yesterday) of what if why not when where how not why which who why why not but why. I am choking on feelings. smothering.

there are no stories in this. no sense. the universe is sinking me.

Sunday, April 12

twelve: slip step

I have decisions to make about next fall. about the next phase. about where this academic funnel is really going to take me.

they feel like crushingly heavy decisions. (I wrote 'are' first. and then revised. 'feel like' is more true. ...unless there really isn't a difference? hm.)

somehow they will get made though. and they might be wrong decisions or they might be unwise decisions and I will most likely end up missing out on something or other...

no matter what gets decided, whether I choose this or that or try to juggle both somehow, or whether I flip a coin or throw a dart or take your advice, there will be some other thing that could have been. inaccessible alternate realities and all their teasing, rose-tinted fanciness.

but that's how everything seems to work. in pieces, in slices, where you can't see the other side and there is no way to rewind or restart.

Saturday, April 11

eleven: collecting

for most of the day I have been in Bloomington, two hours southish of here, for the Indiana Digital Rhetorics Symposium (#IDRS15). soon I will type up the little notes and musings and inspirations that came to me as I listened to my fellow scholars talk/present/play/perform/discuss. there are at least ten new books/articles added to my want to read list.

it was a good day.

unrelatedly, I have finally added spring break photographs to an album. for sharing with strangers.

they have no captions yet. feel free to suggest some.

Friday, April 10

ten: destroy my sweater

I had forgotten about this half-parenthetically-titled song. the video is embedded underneath all this concert-reminiscing--go listen.

it took me til the second verse to remember this song. it sounded different played live, with all the crowd-noise and amplification layered around, and I almost didn't recognize it at all. it is sadly not among the many Weezer tracks I've collected over the years, but it is among the Weezer tracks that I very much like. I remember it on the radio in my car and the wind through the window and my voice trying to match the song's pleading.

I'm putting this song on the list of songs I would totally not mind having any musically inclined and handsome men sing to me as we smile at at each other. (this song is also on that list, though I know the fact that Mr. Freddie Mercury was not exactly the straightest of fellows might make it a slightly odd candidate.)

so. random Weezer concert? why not? it was free. it was a Friday. why not? (I'm choosing to ignore the fact that it was sponsored in connection with a ridiculous college sports organization. let's not talk about that part.)

what we saw of the concert was cool. we left campus last week at around half past three and drove straight to the city. we parked at the Indianpolis Zoo. we walked through what was left of the drizzle to the state park where Weezer would be sandwiched between a band called Cold War Kids and another band called Imagine Dragons. we wandered past tents and booths giving out ad-bedecked swag and selling beer. we found a place to stand on the muddy, trampled grass, and we waited. the ground was sogged and cold. the little toes on my right foot started to numb a little before long.

I had almost no hope of seeing the actual stage from the middle of the crowd, but every so often the sea of shoulders and heads did align just right and I glimpsed the band members up there, rocking out on their bestickered electric guitars. on stage they looked so small compared to their images on the screens behind and beside them. their real faces looked paler. their bodies like toys, almost.

every song sent a slightly different pattern of deep, deep thrumming into my knees and torso and heart. there was plenty of shoving and being shoved. there was plenty of variously flavored smoke. ah, live concerts. the are perhaps not one hundred percent my thing... but they are so unique it's easy to enjoy them anyway. friend Mitch who also tagged along confessed to us afterwards that he's not a huge fan of Weezer anyway, he just loves people-watching at concerts.

and why not?

I had forgotten about this song. before looking it up today, I hadn't seen the music video before. (music videos are a very strange genre. this one is no exception.)

a note: Mr. Lead Singer Rivers Cuomo doesn't look like that anymore.

he looks like this.

Thursday, April 9

nine: on purpose

more rain. more puddles. more lightning. different thunder. 
I took these photos yesterday. one of them on purpose, the others unwittingly as I walked with my camera-ipod in hand, an old-ish episode of On Being playing behind all the dripping sluicing splish splash of relentless spring showers.

so they are blurry.

they are even more wildly-angled than my usual random photography.

if you have been here on this walk between this building and that building on Purdue's campus, you might recognize it, despite its blurred and tilted representation here.

or maybe you'll recognize something else. the whirl of a crammed Thursday. the dizzying shift from skin-slicing pre-spring chill to muggy pre-summer heat. or the anxious looking from here to there and up and back and up again, wondering who and what and how you will meet and introduce yourself to the future.

Wednesday, April 8

eight: greenifying

there are puddles everywhere. as I got ready for the day thismorning, thunder was thunking and crashing around above everything, like boxes falling over in some celestial attic. it is the first real sky-rending lightning-and-thunder storm we've had this season, I think. before now it's only been drizzly and gentle. but today is thoroughly wet. only a little pale light from a gap along the western sky made it through the downpour.
it's stopped raining now, though the clouds are still piled up in layers. we'll have plenty of sun once summer arrives. for now, these spring drizzles can continue as long as they like. I love them.