Monday, January 30, 2006

Fish as... art?

For my Chinese class we were instructed that we had to visit the museum in the Center for the Arts and write about their China wall display. No problem, I was all over it.

I wandered down there Thursday afternoon and began transcribing random stuff into my notebook about each display to use for my paper latter on. Some of the displays were fairly cool, and I was pleasantly enjoying myself as I dully tried to deduce why I couldn't just be an art major and play with paint all day long.

There was a bed in the corner of the room, and eventually I moseyed over there to investigate. On top of the bed it had a clear mattress with an oxygen tank hooked up to it. Huddled at the top were about three dozen goldfish, all trying to get oxygen from the thin stream being poorly run through. What was even more disturbing, was the paragraph that was describing the exhibit to us uninspired students who can't see art through this medium. It talked all about how the artist had been trying desperately to "get it right" for years, as he forgot frivolous items like oxygen and food and other mundane things. So hundreds of fish died at the sake of his masterpiece.

This is the most disgusting disregard for life as I have ever seen. How does one elucidate to themselves that wasting fish is a legitimate detriment for the sake of expressing their creativity?? On the accompanying paragraph it concluded how daring this was, and such a bold statement. When I got home, I looked it up. This isn't some daring new form of unknown expression; it has been done, tried, expressed, and copied for over a decade. Another moron has the same exact wonderful imaginative thing you do. What creativity and ingenious does that give you?? None. You have the same thing that a person would have if they stole a Van Goug from a museum and brought it to a copier machine. What inspiration. If only we all could evolve to that level.

At least one got shut down. I would totally be on this, but the last day was friday. So at least it's all gone anyways.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Gorillas for class

I'm in a mildly excited state because for one of my classes I get to watch gorillas all semester long. And while I am slightly against the whole caging wild animals in thing/zoo situation, I do feel like Buffalo zoo has taken lots of steps to try and make it a good place. Bah, that sentence still sounds very wrong. Cage is still bad and the only thing I can comfort myself in is that I won't be giving them any money, so at least I'm not financing them. Maybe by observing the zoo for so long and being able to see where and how the keepers interact with them, will make me realize that its not such a bad place. Yea, and maybe if I take a tour of a slaughter house I'll find that humane as well. Insert a heavy sigh here. I'm constantly being attacked with things that are bad, but I cannot change. There is no other option if I want to graduate, and am I really supporting the zoo if I'm not giving them anything? Does my mere presence there really symbolize something and make me a hypocrite??

Dancing Bears of India

The people gathered round, to see the bear perform his dance.
He didn't have a choice you see, he didn't stand a chance.
His muzzle had been pierced with a red hot iron bar.
His owner would make sure he didn't wander very far.

He was captured as a baby with just this thing in mind.
His mother she was slaughtered and her cub was left behind.
He was taken to the city in a cage with iron bars.
He was lonely and was frightened of all the trucks and cars.

They left him in a little cage, tied with a rope and chain.
Then, they made him dance all day out in the sun and rain
They tugged hard on the rope, that was threaded through his nose.
They poked him with a big thick stick, to dance up on his toes.

They pulled his canine teeth out, he couldn't eat his natural food.
They tried to feed him other things but it wasn't any good.
He got sick with malnutrition and was left to die in pain.
The people that would do these things must really be insane.

Copyright © 2003 by Maureen Flynn-Smith. All Rights Reserved May be used in unchanged form by avowed Animal Rightists if accompanied by this copyright message.

There are only four females there so I'm doing my paper on the difference between their interaction in the zoo verses the typical female/female relationship and interaction when there is a male present. I'm fairly certain this should keep me relatively entertained throughout the next couple of months. I wish I had a car for moments like these. The bus is really going to get on my nerves after awhile.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

2006 China threat kon

So in my quest to find new relation cards, I find a threat kon one instead. A much more satisfying and exciting phenomenon.

It's not the best card in the world, it just says that the way to turn China into a threat is to cast it as one. There is a cute line at the end where it states that China shouldn't be viewed as a threat but as a chance. Awww. I like it. It has really no depth to it though, but I'm super excited it is from 2006. It will take about a half of a second to read, so there really is no harm in throwing it in and smiling to myself as I read 2006.

I even made this little header for it, because I've been cutting a bunch of Sudan cards, that has these little snowflakes on it saying Buffalo. I'm such a dork.

Maybe this will give me the motivation to run it in round again. I didn't run it once the whole Texas Swing, so two tournaments in a row with no threat. Didn't think it was possible. I'm going to rush off to class then type up a few summaries for it...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Speeding and Raleigh in the Carolinas

Back in Buffalo at last. I never thought I would actually be happy to be home; but there it is. And in true Buffalo fashion it started snowing today. Can't get that down south.

NC ended up going surprisingly smoothly. All my worries about the 24 hour driving experience within 3 days were quite unfounded- I just read and slept the hole time. There was a scary, heart stopping minute where it seemed I was going to be in Jeff's van, but I made it out.

I camped out in the back, back seat so I got a full row to myself to jump and roll around in. I also only spent $5.40 the whole trip, which is something I think I should be commended on. It was basically all on drinks. Damn hydration-if it wasn't for that...

3 out of the 4 vans also managed to get speeding tickets. Now the real riot is that 2 of those three got it from the same police officer. He basically laughed at us the whole time. After he gave out the ticket he grins at Madelyn and goes, "Any more of y'all comming through? Got me one of these SUNY Buff-alo vans 10 minutes ago."

The trials were held in small classrooms, some of them without tables, and only one judge per room. That messed up the whole thing, making only 4 ballots and 2 chances at placing. I wasn't for it at all. We lost all of them by 2 or 3 and I know we would have grabbed at least one or two ballots had there been another judge in the room. A team ended up winning the whole thing, while B and C had a race for ... last place evidently. I did fairly decently for having to play not one, but 2 new parts.

The best part was the last night when our room decided to go the 45 minute drive to Raleigh. We went to this ultra snazzy jazz restaurant with a live band and cozy coaches and candles. I can't vouch for the food, as I wasn't about to make vegan anything on the fried flesh menu, but I have it on 5 accounts it was fantastic. The ice tea goes on record as the best ever as well.

Classes now seem really dull compared to gallivanting around in the south.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Texas = Spanos and Mexican

We actually did it; the UB Policy debate team managed to fly itself down to Texas, and back again with minimal difficulty. The flight down was rough, much delays and bad lazy airport workers making our connection from Chicago to Texas almost much longer then planned. Despite the mass amounts of tape and care that went into packing my 48.5 and 47 pound tubs, they tumbled into Fort Lauderdale four hours after Jeff and I did, with various amounts of cracks and weird bruises which probably effected their whole performance at the Texas Swing. Yesss, I'll blame our losses on the airports of the United States.

We were leeches to the grand and wonderful University of Rochester once again, and they put us up in some pretty swanky hotels that blow our previous accommodations out of the water. Anyone remember the 'Knight Motel' in Ohio??? Oh good shady times. We're lucky a stray bullet didn't hit us.

There was certainly no stray bullets zooming around these hotels, with beds I had to jump to get into, Starbucks coffee, two showerheads, and a phone next to the toilet. Whoa, they think of everything. And cable TV. I want it sooo bad. I got to watch what all the cool kids watch all last week. It's amazing what fun a TV can be when it had more then 1 and a half channels. I'm also very pro to this thing called a "hospitality suite", which is stocked with literally every liquid you could possibly desire, no questions asked.

I managed to fail totally at the whole taking pictures thing, and my camera that was given to me over break lays still in my bookbag unwrapped. It of course, continues the problem with film and gelatin, but as I am way to poor to buy a digital camera, and as of yet, each one has been given to me, I can't be totally evil, right?Or is it? Oh dear, I'm a goner. All I wanted was some southern memories. It doesn't even matter though, because I was way too distracted with cutting down cards, making blocks, debating, and TV to process that I had no pictures. So all my pictures I will have to, once again, leech off of Rochester. And Katie has them up already! Score! Why do I always have a backpack on? I think it might be connected to me....

The first tournament was in Denton, and went down without much troubles. We lost a few rough ones, but there was this magical time between Denton and Dallas that blocks were made and cards appeared. It was like having a redo. A redo where we won the same amount of rounds we did the tournament before without the blocks and extra cards. Honestly? Only we could pull that one off. Dallas, which was named "fear and loathing", ended up living up to it's name when pairings went crazy, out rounds didn't have tables to flow on, and judges vote on arguments in cross x... or rather, because of this alternate use situation, on stuff that went down during the other teams prep time...

Everyone who was negative had apparently lost all their folders, and ended up having to go with this community argument that must have been handed out to everyone at the tournament but us, called Spanos. I'm not really pro it at all, the only satisfaction I got was in Dallas when we finally beat it. It took us a tournament though. A very long tournament of trying to run some sort of threat kon/otherization/Orientalism combination of answers that made us forget to pound the case outweighs cards that we've memorized by now. We are suuuch failures. Everyone down there also had a weird affiliation to Mexican foods and at least one car went to one every night. I don't trust Texas' beans. There was this mushroom and spinach masterpiece though that is tied for first with a stir-fry place that had tofu and totally rocked.

It was also confirmed that nobody in Dallas reads. It took an amazing time to try and find a bookstore, and was only accomplished with very sketchy directions Jeff had badgered out from a poor gas station attendant that probably never saw him coming.

All and all, it was an amazing time, and although my ears still haven't popped from the plane and so I can't hear, I'm unbelievably ecstatic about the time down there and can't wait to take home the next tournament we manage to muddle over to. And I really can't wait to drive to North Carolina in 12 hours, a place where my plane landed 16 hours ago in for a lay-over. If I had money- I would so be in a hotel next to the airport in North Carolina already waiting for mock trial to drive all the way down. But unfortunately, I'm broke, and apparently going to have to be bottled up in a van in the very near future with two new parts I just found out about. Fan-tastic.