August 19, 2001
Well.. I was called a schmuck on CNN today... I have
renewed faith in the CNN news room, they actually read
last nights journal entry and were not very happy about
my CNN interview. They called and chewed me (Kembrew)
out about the sale and then ran a piece about Elvis
instead of the interview...
The lead anchor talked a little about AMLFS and then
called me a Schmuck, what is a Schmuck anyways? Its
too bad that they didn't just interview Kembrew...
he is pretty damn smart and knows my project better
than I do.. He would have been great..
to them that the sale of the interview fit in with the
concept of the project but... I'm not sure that they
liked being part of the project.. I guess they wont
let me stay with them when I drive through Atlanta...
They promised to never call me again..
And now Kembrew won't pay me... well at least I didn't
use up 5 of my fifteen minutes of fame this morning..
I might need it later..
Other news.. Margaret
is back so now I have a tent and a camp stove.. I have
two school things to take care of and then I can get
on the road.
August 18, 2001
So I said good-bye to many of my friends today at a
BBQ of sorts in Iowa City.. I say of sorts b/c it was
actually a fry-o-rama.. Ken Walker had a huge contraption
with a pot on it originally intended for deep frying
a turkey.. So we all brought things to throw in the
There were the usual things chicken, fish, breaded
vegetables, but I started getting a little carried away
when I breaded up an ear of corn and threw it in the
pot... It fried up golden brown and tasted like a corn
fritter on the cob.. I wonder if I am the first idiot
to do that..
While at the party I had to answer questions about
the recent media attention to the allmylifeforsale
project (AMLFS).. Indeed it has been a little crazy;
even though the project over reporters still want to
write about it.. I'd be getting pretty sick of that
god damn guy who's "Selling his life on the Internet"
if I wasn't that guy...
So if you read through descriptions in AMLFS
you probably get a sense that I'm not exactly in support
of the consolidation of media in this country.. I think
that large media conglomerates are dangerous for democracy..
That television, cable companies, radio stations, web
portals and publishers should not all be controlled
by an individual company
So when CNN contacted me this week about AMLFS I was
in a quandary about what to do... the project is over...
the whole point of talking to BIG MEDIA was to get the
items that were up for auction dispersed to as many
different types of people as possible. Without the things
on auction, all I would get out of it would be a short
interview where they would ask me about my two
front teeth and my underwear
Far from a critical look at what the hell AMLFS was
all about... But I agreed to the interview... I have
My friend Kembrew
was at the fry-o-rama too and he has been watching my
project progress.. He too feels that the consolidation
f media is a bad thing... that it homogenizes news coverage..
So that you have to hear about he guy selling his life
on the Internet day after day after day... that it leads
to the elimination of investigative
reporting in an effort to increase profits and to
avoid law suits. And so on.. So even though the selling
part of AMLFS is over I decided that I would sell him
the opportunity to be interviewed on CNN tomorrow morning.
He paid me $100 (that's a lot of gas, unless Exxon-Mobil
starts to raise its prices again) for the opportunity
to be me for the five minute interview.. I have no idea
what he will say but talking to the media live was always
a little nerve racking anyways.. I'm going to sleep
Ohh and.. SHHHHH if they find out they will cancel
Can you keep a secret?
August 17, 2001
The plan is still to get into the car on Monday/Tuesday
and head in an general northeastern direction. I have
started to received so many invitations to visit that
I have to figure out how I will fit them all in...
When I proposed this part of the project I expected
10 to 20 of the high bidders from my project allmylifeforsale
to agree to my visiting them, but instead there are
nearly 100. So suddenly I need to be a little more organized
than I am..
In the last week I have bought a few things for my
trip.. Its has been a little weird actually buying stuff
after a 6 month hiatus.. I bought a new Road Atlas so
I can find the tiny towns that house my life. I also
bought a ac/dc converter for my cigarette lighter, I
have it Velcro'ed to my glove compartment,. The car
is starting to look like its owned by a tech geek. And
now that I can plug in small appliances who knows what
I made $80 tonight working at the Motley Cow, a restaurant
that I wait tables in when they need an extra hand..
With the price of gas still low, that should get me
to the east coast easy.. Depending on how much I meander..
I can't leave until Margaret
gets back b/c I am borrowing her tent and camp stove..
I'll pick up a pot and a camp plate at the goodwill
August 10, 2001
Although my trip doesn't officially start for a week
or two, I would like to report on my first attempts
to meet some of the high bidders on objects from my
life. Last month I drove to the northeast and visited
my family in upstate New York, while I was east I stopped
in NY City to see whether or not the whole idea of visiting
my stuff would work out.
I sent out an email to about 10 people in NYC announcing
when I would be in town and that I wanted to check in
on how my things have been incorporated in to their
lives. Five people agreed to meet with me; Maya, Miranda,
Linsey, Adam Cohen, and Michael Mandiberg.
Yes Stamp, Ice Cube Tray
Maya was a shoe in, she is one of my best friends and
when the project started in December she was the high
bidder on the things that just wouldn't sell to your day
to day Ebay shopper (ice cube trays, my yes stamp, etc).
I stayed at here apartment in SoHo and scheduled meetings
with the other high bidders.
In one e-mail Miranda said that we could meet "any time
but Sunday at 3pm". And as per usual I read it "Sunday
at 3pm". So I packed up my laptop and my camera and
took the F train out to Brooklyn, walked about 18 blocks
and knocked on the specified address... And as her e-mail
states "any time but Sunday at 3pm"
So I met with her the next evening, and I knew exactly
how to get to her house having been there the day before.
Miranda bought my "Opaque Projector" which I had bought
for a project I had in mind. The projector was in her
studio and in the months since she received it, she
stared to create a new series of drawings with it. I
promised her that I would not disclose what she was
working on, but the drawings have something in common
with a body of work that I made a few years ago. Not
that my projector had any influence on her...
Mandiberg: Life for Sale
Earlier that day I met with Michael Mandiberg, and we
talked about what it was like to have everything that
we own visible to a broad audience and up for sale.
Image finding someone who knew what it felt like to
pack up something you really love in a box and mail
it off to a total stranger. Mandiberg
has been selling his life on the internet since January
of this year. I even bought something from him, which
I sold to someone in Vermont. He currently has a stack
of stuff that I sent him up for sale on his site.
The next day I had lunch with Adam Cohen, I'm not sure
which happened first but Adam interviewed me for a book
that he is writing about e-bay. I'm not sure if he will
include anything about my project in the final draft,
but he was also the high bidder on my "tropical Fish"
shirt. I actually think that he bought the shirt first,
and didn't quite realize what I was up to, until he
received the strange e-mail from me asking him to "Update"
me on how he had incorporated my shirt into his life.
When I met him for Lunch he came to the lobby in my
freshly washed and ironed "Tropical Fish" shirt".The
week before he had written a cover story for Time
Magazine about Internet Privacy, a subject that
I wrote my undergraduate thesis on in 1995... was it
the shirt? I doubt it..
4 Lbs of Crystal Sugar
That evening I met Lindsey for a drink at the "Subway
Inn" by Bloomindales. Lindsey had bought a five pound
bag of sugar from me. Well actually there was about
four pounds left in the bag, but I covered the extra
shipping so she didn't really mind. The Subway Inn is
now my most favorite bar in all of Manhattan. It is
a dingy old place with $2 call drinks.. (unheard of
Meeting Lindsey for a drink in a bar made the encounter
feel a little like a blind date.. She didn't lug the
4-pound purchase in from Brooklyn that morning which
would have been a nightmare, I can only imagine the
"Got the sugar?" --- "Yup, hear it is" --- "Great...
sugar" --- "Yeah, ...sugar"
So instead we just talked about ourselves and tried
to get a sense of who each other was.. Its was here
that I realized that I have been writing nearly every
story that I have ever told on the internet and there
were people actually reading it.. Throughout the conversation
I would start to tell a story and Lindsey would finish
it for me, like she was there when it happened or had
known me all of my life, when in reality she had simply
read the descriptions in my project, so much of what
I was talking about was old news to her.
To be fair it was one of the my more interesting meetings
that week.. The meeting with Miranda was all business,
I showed up, photographed the opaque projector, thanked
her for her time and took the subway back to Maya's
house. Lindsey is going to make cookies with the sugar
that she bid on and is planning to send them to me.(hopefully
soon). If I get them before I go maybe I will give you
one when I visit.