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Friday September 28, 2001

Flying Circus Premier

Tonight I saw Kris' latest film "The Flying Circus" I tried to watch it last night but Kris made me wait until the premier tonight. I'm glad that I waited it was so good to see it on the big screen with a big group of people. Kris and I were business partners for almost a year but I left the company to go to graduate school.

This year he made a second film called the bolero project where he took three years of footage and edited it to Ravel's Bolero. It was pretty amazing to be sitting in a room with about 200 or so Ski and Snowboard kids and watching something set to classical music. I think that this is the first time that many of the audience actually had to listen to classical music out side of the elevators that they have been in over the years.

Kris' films are always pretty funny and for the last three years have included appearances from our friend Lisa's daughter Kaya StarÉ Who has to be listed as the bestest of the best and greatest of great when I talk about kids I know. When Kris was answering questions abut the films Kaya was right up next to him incase he needed any help. Her first appearance was in Clay Pigeons, where there is a take of her being dropped into 3 ft of fresh snow, but the last two years have featured Kaya Skiing.

Kris is unsure about whether or not he is going to make a new film this year. The trouble it that he shoots everything on film, 16 mm and Super 8 so the production cost are high and Kris is far from the type of industry insider who can ask for lots of money from sponsors so. Everyone here want him to continue but I guess we will see..

Look for the Bolero project at the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Hopefully it will be one of the films that travels with it this year.


Thursday September 27

Denver to Salt Lake City

Today I made my second nine hour drive of this trip. The west is so much different than the east as far as driving is concerned. In the first month of this trip I the longest I was in a car was 5 or 6 hours max, now it seems like every where I go is nine hours from everywhere.

I drove on I-70 over the continental divide that runs through Colorado, past the major Colorado ski resorts and through some of the nicest canyons I have ever seen. With cold mountain streams and bright yellow aspens running up the rocky walls. I-70 through Glen Canyon used to be a narrow two lane road but they recently opened a crazy four lane route that actually didn't seem to kill the landscape that much. I'm not sure how they made this road but when I took a short break at a rest area I could hardly hear the highway above me.

When I was on the east coast I tried to avoid the interstates but in the west I love them, the speed limit in eastern Utah is 75 which means you can easily drive 90. And since there is literally nothing for miles but rock and dried brush, I donŐt mind rolling past it. In the west I start to feel how huge this country is. Nebraska? Sure the cornfields are huge but there are cornfields. The land is cultivated, used, ordered and organized. Eastern Utah is a dessert. Rocks, Rocks and more rocks, and the interstate. Thank god for the interstate.

I arrived in Salt Lake City at around 8 pm which was just in time to meet up with my friend Kris from Wind-Up Films. Being back in Salt Lake City was a bit odd, as soon as I got off the interstate I knew exactly where I was. I half expected as much when I was driving around the north-east but Salt Lake has be so far away from me of late. Denver was eerily familiar too, even though I had only been there once. I also met up with my friend Jen who recently became a certified Feng Shui practitioner. I think that I am going to ask her if she will Feng Shui my car while I am here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2001

No Returns Necessary

Lincoln lives in a storefront apartment in Denver. It is a giant retail store that he as renovated into a pretty decent living space, complete with a new little kitchen, a funky bathroom, a bedroom, and a huge work area. He still has his matching classic Schwinn bicycles, one of which he let me borrow for a few months.

On the day he left Iowa I walked into my apartment to find the bike gone and a Dekalb seed jacket in its place. It was unclear whether or not he actually gave it to me or if it was just on loan like the bicycle before it. The jacket was one of the first items to be tagged at my inventory part last October. But I never put it up for sale b/c always thought of the jacket as Lincoln's.

So when was invited to Denver visit by a few of the High Bidders on my auctions I decided that I would return the Jacket to him. Well I discovered that there was a reason that he loaned the jacket to me. It doesn't fit him. The sleeves are so short on him that it barely covers his wrists. So I guess I'm going to hold onto it an give it away somewhere on my trip. Maybe I will give it to the guys who run the DEKLAB and the University of Iowa.

Lincoln and his friend Chris worked on an installation last year called Auto-Mobile where they drove Chris's beat up 85 toyota truck to random places in Denver and documented peoples reaction to the truck. And later installed the truck and the various forms on documentation into a gallery space. They are going to send me a few images from the show so you all can see it.

When I arrived the other day I didn't really give Lincoln much notice to my arrival, a pattern that I seem to be maintaining as I travel across the country. "Yes, this is John, Yes I'm down the block, Yes that's right I need a place to stay." When I arrived in Denver I bought Lincoln a six pack of beer and proceeded to sit outside of his place drinking one then two beer while the sun set. I started to worry that he was out of town this week. I left a note and found a coffeehouse in the neighborhood called Buzz, which has free DSL, which is where I am writing these entries right now.

Wednesday, September 26, 2001

Blue Bonnet, Denver

Today I had lunch with Kendra and her brother at the Blue Bonnet restaurant on Broadway in Denver. Its is in this area that looks like it could have been a little seedy in ten or twelve years ago but now there are a bunch of Sam's Clubs, Walmarts, and the like. I guess the Blue Bonnet is an institution for Mexican food in Denver. Yesterday I had a Gyro at Pete's Kitchen on Colfax, the only street I really know in Denver.

During my first road trip trey and I stayed at a youth hostel off of Colfax which even after 10 years of economic growth is still a pretty unsavory part of town, or at least I'm told its that way. I kind of like it, the Salvation Army on Colfax is one of the better one's I've seen on this trip and Pete's Kitchen has the best Neon Sign in Denver.

But I should be telling you about Kendra and her brother. Kendra majored in political Science and is also and artist. She was not supposed to be in town when I arrived b/c she was scheduled to fly to Paraguay on a peace Corp mission last week, but things as they are in the world and a freak accident ha postponed her mission. She dislocated two vertebrae by sneezing. Yes sneezing.. (Amy who I met with last night has a cast on her leg from a stress fracture that she has no idea how she got) Not sure what is going on in Mile High City but I'd be careful when you come to Denver.. I have no real injuries to report.

Kendra bought a wallet book that I had had made for an installation that I made in college. I created a series of wallets, which were supposed to represent the various identities that I felt like I had in my life at the time. Each wallet contained photographs of groups of people who I was connected too in a particular way. One was of my dad's family including my stepmother Barb, Sarah and Lauren, one was of my recent interactions with my mother, one was from my friends from my internship in Washington and so on. Each a unique group of people, each only connected to each other by me.

Kendra's wallet included photographs of my closest friends at the time, images of Trey, Sandy, Amy and Caroline. My friendships have shifted so dramatically since the wallets were made, I am only in regular contact with Trey at this point but here from the others once and a while. Kendra will head to Pargauy in a year or so.. I'm not sure what she will be doing until then?

Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Denver, Colorado
Electric Company Record

Amy works for e-commerce site that sells toys. We met for dinner at a Middle Eastern restaurant in Denver called Jerusalem. Lincoln clipped a coupon from the local city paper for the combo special so the total bill came to something like $11.50 for one of the largest meals I've had so far.

Amy was a cheerleader, not that that tells you much about her or anyone else for that matter. It turns out that my friend Krissi was a cheerleader and so was Sasha. Amy went to UC Boulder and felt a little right wing there even though she is quite a centrist from what I could tell.

We talked about the dot com crash, the recent events in New York and Washington, and of all things the taking of surnames at marriage. Amy is like a lot of women I know who bristle at the idea of being called a feminist while at the same time supporting ideas which 20 years ago would be considered radically feminist. Her last name is very unique, and its likely to disappear from culture if she agrees to take a husbands surname (I'm not going to list it b/c I try not to be too public with Temporama participants' personal information)

I tried to explain that her decision to keep her family name in marriage was indeed an overtly feminist political act but she disagreed and called it common sense. So who won the culture war? The dominant culture is anti-feminist while at the same time has absorbed feminist ideas into mainstream culture. Amy grew up in a single parent household and is a strong independent career woman who epitomizes the goals of the early feminist movement yet she feels shunned by contemporary feminist activists.

Is it OK for a woman to have a successful management career in corporate America? Can contemporary feminist politics include makeup wearing hard working former cheerleaders in their ranks? It better well should because women like Amy are women who are now and will be in the future in decision-making positions, in charge of hiring, purchasing, and industry relocation plans.

Amy and I also talked about the elusive ideas of introvert and extrovert. She tells me that the definition of the two is often misunderstood, that the true nature of the two are about how we interact with people, that we can be very social people but still be an introvert and vise versa. According to Amy's understanding extroverts are energized by begin with and around other people while introverts are drained and need alone time to recharge.

I guess I am an extrovert by any definition.. I come from a large family and love to have commotion around me. I am quite energized by having other people around. I love to bounce ideas off of people. Probably so much so that some of my friends are sick of it. Maybe thatŐs why I have to drive around and meet new people constantlyÉ