Wednesday, August 26, 2009

460. Poem "A Victory of Loss" Inspired by the MLPA (Marine Life Protection Act) Process

"A Victory of Loss" Prose Poem. PDF version found here:
The last time I spoke with a fisherman at the last FIN (Fisheries Information Network meeting), he told me that the FIN proposal was doing well in terms of advancing to the next round of the MLPA (Marine Life Protection Act) process, but at the same time, there was no reason for any of the meeting attendees to pat each other on the back, nor give each other a round of applause. In fact, everyone looked quite sullen, as if they were all at some funeral, or memorial. The fisherman then told me that the FIN's proposal success was great and dandy, but it only meant that fisheries-related stakeholders were allowed to pick their own poison for some form of collective suicide, or if not suicide, then a massive injury to the industry. And my being all metaphorical and poetic and being a hunter of paradoxes and ironies of life... I instantly saw value in this commentary... and voila! Why not write a prose poem about the subject matter?!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

458. Dramatic Changes at the Whereabouts of 207 Hillview Drive... Blog Entry (Book Volume) #3

Picasaweb Blurb: Two Year Photoessay of 207 Hillview Drive; Not Your Stereotypical Graduate Student Household! What can I say?! Too much change all at once. Karl's moving out. Tina's moving in. Kyle and Lisa are getting married. Bentley the Ambassador Dog and Beastly Jacumba are around, and cancel out the effects of peace, order, and chaos around the house (;-). I am ending my fellowship and am in the exciting, edgy media job market because UCSB played with my psychology for TAships long enough. Dxmn Governator! And I say it's about time I reflect! Time to honor the place that has housed me in a two year roller coaster change in my life!

Picasaweb Blurb: Two Year Photoessay of 207 Hillview Drive; Let's Go Fly a Kite! It was the great alignment of all the stars, all the planetary systems, the Milankovitch cycles, the El Ninos, the spring burns of the sage brush... and somehow all these elements of the universe aligned such that all housemates co-existed within the same house in the closest of proximities and were all free to take a break all at the same time... to merely and most wonderfully enjoy the flying of a unicorn horse kite at the nearby park, most eagerly contributed to 207 Hillview Drive by Karl's father (I think)? What a witty man! He must know that graduate students are simply adult bodies with kid minds. We just are five year old kids flying kites underneath all the showiness of academic red-tape-prestige. The university exists so we can fly kites, and somehow, ironically, the university doesn't give us a lot of time to do that! (Featuring Karl, Kyle, Lisa, Michaela, and Joe!)

457. Dramatic Changes at the Whereabouts of 207 Hillview Drive... Blog Entry (Book Volume) #2

Initial Advertisement for 207 Hillview Drive from UCSB's Community Housing Office (CHO) back in August of 2007.
Sketch agreement I signed in order to live in the house. A bit self-defeating because I was the only person who signed.
PDF Version of the Proposed New Housing Agreement:
Kyle was concerned we as new and old housemates were "not on the same page," so I decided to consolidate and write up "the same page." New Housing / Lease Agreement I devised since we have no individual leases with the owner of the household. Written a couple of days ago, being reviewed by the housemateys. Tina is a new housemate coming in, and honestly I feel like the last year has been a bit unstable in which housemates have been coming in and out of this box with a roof as if a kid were suffering from diarrhea... way too many housemates coming in and running out in a short period of time. So now we can all have some common agreement and cover our own and each other's xsses. And so there.
I guess what we need now is a "signing party," and every time we have a new housemate, we'll have to have a signing party... might as well be fun... food and beer and might as well clean up the house around that time too....

456. Dramatic Changes at the Whereabouts of 207 Hillview Drive... Blog Entry (Book Volume) #1

Not exactly your stereotypical graduate student house... I could say that everyone's a bit too responsible... not enough late night keg parties... not enough abnoxious accumulation of random crxp over a period of a couple of decades, not enough dust, spiders, and overall lack of maintenance... not enough weed... but I live here and some serious changes are happening.

It sounds ironic... to think that I have been living at 207 Hillview Drive for almost two years... and so many things have happened... and I haven't devoted a SINGLE blog entry to 207 Hillview Drive! Though I'm scared to think that a Blog Entry would transform into a Book of Graduate Student Drama, like Ph.D. Comics Version a la Victoria... but I know, I know I must prohibit myself from "going there" because Graduate Student Drama as I have come to realize is not the center of the world's universe, though it is the center of our own academimicrocosmos universe.

Well, then, where do I start? How can I state "what has changed" when I haven't even stated "what is"?!! Okay, okay, like a good little scientist, I will provide a sketchy two-year geological record of 207 Hillview Drive of Goleta, California, from Victoria's frame of reference.

**July 2007 --> Zaca fire. Rock Crabbing. Blue Horizoning.
**August 2007 --> Vic finishes Blue Horizons film program and considers finding a house to live in for fall quarter at UCSB. She wants to transfer to UCSB from UCRiverside for environmental media programming. She finds an advertisement through the Community Housing Office (CHO) for a $500 room for rent in a two-story house in Goleta. Vic meets Karl Rittger and Julie Ekstrom that day. Julie and I clicked; we're both interdisciplinary students. Karl was really cool. He studied climate. Both Julie and Karl were Brennies. Some other dude by the name of Kyle was going to live in the other room from Carnegie Mellon. Long-time friendship with Karl... since undergrad days of Brown University. Kyle studied climate and energy policy for his Ph.D. Kyle's girlfriend Lisa is a few blocks and a park away, along with big black grumpy megafauna labrador by the name of Onyx... and then later a pound rescule cairn terrier who looks like Mini Miss Einstein, more renowned as Mini or "The Pin." She's a work of fiction and a mystery of biological classification.
**September 2007 --> Vic thought she wasn't going to get the room. It's very competitive, but low and behold a week later Karl called me back and asked if I wanted the room. 207 Hillview Drive is 20 minute Drive from UCSB (a bit far!) amidst the avocado groves... not the beach... but the neighborhood is quiet, a family with three boys next door and a Weed Doctor and his family who ran for the Isla Vista district is our other neighbor (wow we have a politician right next door! that's a stereotypical grad student neighbor!), and there are really cool neighbors overall (families with little kids or high school students), park right down the street, like 50 meters away... the structure of the house is optimal::: communal rooms downstairs and private rooms upstairs, no lease with the owner, keeps the rent cheap, COOL! I'll take it
**Fall 2007 --> take film studies 183 with Drs. Janet Walker and Melinda Szaloky, discovered Godfrey Reggio and Phillip Glass; my life is a wreck, which department do I go for graduate school? Film and Media Studies? NO WAY Bren? NOT TOO SURE Media Arts Technology Department? COOL! Nancy Kawalek is VERY cool...
**November 2007 --> my grandmother Marion passes away, I find out in the morning, that day was shot
**December 2007 --> I have a good talk with Dr. Melack on a rainy friday afternoon after one of the first Environmental media Initiative Research Focus Group meetings, asking him where this is all going for Bren... he seemed like he was the only one around...
**December 2007-January 2008 --> I spend my entire Christmas Break writing "An Inconvenient Truth and the Relativism of Environmental Science"
**Winter 2008 --> I become closer with Julie and we have longer discussions about her research in governance and institutions with ocean management, text mining, etcetera // I schedule an appointment with Dr. Oran Young and describe to him my haywire graduate experience // I meet enough people around campus such that if Bren does not accept me into the school I will piss off a community of people who support me but are from other departments
**February 2008 --> I have a heart-to-heart talk with Dr. Steve Gaines and we spent quite a bit of time discussing An Inconvenient Truth, I got over my foofoo bullshxt from undergraduate days, the whole PISCO situation when the research was first started and I was a lost soul of an undergraduate becoming trampled by an academic machine that was just starting to crank; Dr. Gaines inspired me so much that I wrote my statement of purpose and application to Bren, he solidified my ideas... I'm thankful for that Friday afternoon talk, very windy, dreary Friday in a large office, fourth floor of the Marine Science Building, the ocean below
**April 2008 --> I get accepted into Bren, I say "oh shxt, now what?" I sign some Statement of Intent to Register form and then I felt stressed, I ate a piece of shxtty Rusty's Pizza alone in the car, I ate that crxp food because I was stressed; I went to Orientation and met a bunch of potential future Brennies
**April 2008 --> COMPASS Communications Conference, I met ThePsychopathicKoan (TPK) in the face though on the surface it was an ideal combination of science-art, became friends, went to the LA Times Book Festival and met Lulu Representatives, I was convinced to self publish, I was trained by TPK how to push buttons, manifest the reptile, stupid dress-up, Toastmasters
**May 2008 --> TPK said something profound in May and for a month I worked my xss off to finish up, compile, and print out Question Reality, Toastmasters
**June 2008 --> Question Reality is self-published, I volunteered in Photography / Videography for the Santa Barbara Writer's Conference; Pilot Writers Write-off Reality Show
**July 2008 --> Gap Fire, TPK had a tooth pulled and some implant done and since then he shoved me away, and my summer started to go to shxt... external hard drive crash, etcetera, first he smothered me and then he shoved me away
**August 2008 --> memorable birthday 27, Painted Cave, Ross Run $130 of clothes I need to burn, huge struggle, stuck because of the tumor of TPK, started going to Shelly Lowenkopf's writer workshops, wrote poem for The Myth of Sisyphus Part 2, started writing EOT (not now) but was interrupted by Ray's poor health and negligent TPK
**September 2008 --> Ray's health going down, I had a panic attack, wrote Black Wave of 101 Leg Squid poem (welcome to the university!); the TPK relationship was a sunken ship and all went down, I was going crazy for a while; rough relationship with an advisor culminated the day before the passing of my grandfather (November 2008), taking classes with Dr. Sam Sweet, evolutionary vertebrate morphology (need to follow up with the Adaptive Grid Model), committed to a job with Fisheries Stakeholder Meeting (FIN), Fisheries Information Network
**November 2008 --> Papu Ray passes away, I saw him the day before he passed, Jenny and Bub witnessed his passing; around this time, Dr. Michael Osborne gave me the "magic word" that will allow me to do cross-disciplinary academic research; it's called METAPHOR... wrote Matrix of Metaphors
**December 2008 --> I hid for a month and compiled two hundred and something references referring to scale and metaphor, I provided to Dr. Young and he was much less concerned about where I was heading; first FIN meeting and I met 30+ handsome hunk muscular, skin-parched fishermen with big boats and they are out on the ocean and catch fish and invertebrates and escape the insanity of society all together and I started to feel better about human beings and life in general; I talked to a particular dude named Jules who was very nice and we had some great conversations and interactions afterwards
**January 2009 --> applied for AAAS Mass Media Fellowship but that is close to moot because most traditional media is going to pot, started becoming inspired to write again EOT, but was interrupted, started meeting with a group Woven Atom (Lydia, Becca, Shannon, and me) but starting a literary journal for science and art is a bit ambitious and you'll end up being a slave to your creation, it was difficult to maintain a group
**Feburary 2009 --> AAAS conference, first prideful poster on EOT and adaptive storytelling in science and society, met John Bohannon and Katrien, and then afterwards had fun with Jules and life became even better...
**March 2009 --> published CHESS: The Poetry of Human-Environmental Change, under the advisorship of Dr. Barry Spacks... Barry's my hero and savior of the soul; had hard time scrounging for housemates... will stop around here... getting a bit close to the near future and that is scary because I don't feel happy with where I'm at...
**May 2009 --> wrote Catch Share, Jesusita Fire almost burns home of TPK (lots of self rejuvination through a sense of near death)

A Brief Geological History of Housemates

**Fall 2007 to Spring 2008 --> Julie, Karl, Kyle, and me; Julie moves out to go to Stanford for a post-doc, Lisa and Onyx and Mini are a few blocks away... they are integral part of the 207 Hillview family
**Summer 2008 --> Julie replaced by Joe and Michaela (Brennie graduate, very chill, bikers, snowboarders), Karl takes master bedroom and Joe and Michaela take Karl's former room by my room
**December 2008 --> Joe and Michaela move out and we are housemateless for THREE MONTHS! Fxck!
**March 2009 --> Gwaz (Brennie graduate) moves in, thank you thank you! very interested in environmental media, computer programming, environmental advertising via internet
**June 2009 --> Karl takes a temporary housing position up by Lake Tahoe somewhere up there (he's rich now, got a NASA fellowship!), and the room is rented out to Laurie (Chris Evelyn's g-friend, education masters degree) for the summer
**August 2009 --> Laurie moves out and Gwaz g-friend Tina proposes to move in, Kyle and Lisa are about to get married, and Karl said he's made a permanent move up to northern California; what?! what?! OMG!
**September 2009 --> I have a Roadtrip Nation internship and I found out that I can't make Kyle and Lisa's wedding because we have an interview with Laurie McLean, literary agent extraordinaire of San Francisco, California, so I decided to make a Photography Collection of the Brief Two Year History of 207 Hillview Drive!!! featuring some great shots of Kyle and Lisa! See associated blog!

455. Photo Assistant to Professional Photographer Mark Robert Halper in Wine Country (Santa Ynez Valley)

Photo Assistant to Professional Photographer Mark Robert Halper in Wine Country (Santa Ynez Valley)::: Vic's Ultimate Photography Experience Thus Far

Check out!!!

I learned so much about photography in merely four days! I have acquired a heightened sensitivity for lighting and my sense of composition has radically changed as well.... And perhaps I have barely scratched the surface....

Here are some comments made in my journal entry:

Vic’s Radical Shift in Perception; Radical Shift in Approach to Photography
I was in my little box of know-how with photography… and then I was hired as a Photo Assistant to Mark Robert Halper… and talk about… getting thrown OUTSIDE THE BOX and establishing a new sense of direction and passion on the next level of photography/videography!!! Geez! This internship made my summer; it made me feel like I accomplished something tremendous this summer…. I just find it fascinating how I meet so many people every single day and I learn so little from most of them and then I encounter one character and I endure a drastic metamorphosis through the eyes and mind of one individual… and this individual happens to be Mark Robert Halper….

This experience to me embodied a rapid evolution in my life and my perception of the world around me, particularly through the lens of photography (and by default, film); I told several people that I had a year’s worth of photography training (e.g. through an educational institution) in four days, just through observation and acquiring some form of autonomic-autopilot maneuvering of lighting equipment for Mark (supposedly a very simple system of a light kit), observing the decisions he was making for each scene and each subject / specimen of interest.

Key Words: Mark Robert Halper, photography, surrealism, dream-like photography, Santa Ynez Valley, wine country, workflow of photography, dodging and burning, Craigslist, equipment list, need to improve my own equipment list