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Sunday, 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 Kembrew buying 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..

Kembrew explained 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.


Saturday, 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 deep fryer..

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 a plan...

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 in....

Ohh and.. SHHHHH if they find out they will cancel the interview...

Can you keep a secret?


Friday, 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 will happen

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


Friday, 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.

Maya: 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.
Miranada: Opaque Projector

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...

Michael 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.

Adam Cohen: Fish Shirt

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..

Lindsey: 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 in NYC).

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 conversation:

"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.


>>Okay--it's the Subway Inn on 60th St and Lexington (NE corner) at 5 pm.

>>It won't be hard to recognize me, since I will probably be the only woman in the place.

>See you- Lindsey