As Far As I Can Tell

Moped BBQ 11

Tomorrow is the official beginning of Moped Army BBQ 11 here in Kalamazoo. Members from all over the nation are streaming into town from Seattle, Boston, New York, Chicago, Tempe, Cincinnati, Richmond, Detroit, Elkhart, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Minneapolis, and more. It’s looking to be largest moped rally ever.

We rented the old 1977 Mopeds building on Portage Street to have parties in this weekend. Yesterday and today we’ve been cleaning it up, bringing in furniture and getting the grease off the floor. It’s shaped up to be an awesome clubhouse. If you’re reading this then you’re invited to the parties we’re having on Saturday and Sunday night (BYOB). The main event is on Monday starting at 10am at the current 1977 Mopeds location downtown near the Arcadia Festival Site. Come hang out and bring some food to share, everyone is welcome with or without a moped.

I’ve set up a special weblog for the BBQ that members are able to post to via email or their phone. Throughout the weekend you can check in to get a glimpse of events as they happen. Setting this up was a fun experiment since I knew that posting via cell phone could be essential during the weekend. We’ll be riding mopeds, and while the Rocket Star has free WIFI it wouldn’t be very real-time if I only relied on that. I combined Blogger, Audio Blogger, Flickr, and Feed Burner to do all the heavy lifting.

BBQ 11 Pins



Finally I understand the diffrence between the site and the actuallity of the mopedarmy. It’s like a filter of information. the diffrence of knowing, seeking and doing. I always figured a moped toss would be fun. Have to wonder about someone who can’t pick up their machine.

Posted by: MikeBartell on June 3, 2005 1:29 PM

Final Renderings

It’s less than a month before Meredith graduates so the craziness is slowly starting to fade. No more starting papers at midnight for a morning class, no more last minute mental dumps of brilliant but nerve wracking writing, no more trying to fit work into a schedule that’s already unhealthily busy.

This month there are various events that start wrapping things up. Last week was the unveiling of The Cauldron, the Kalamazoo College literary magazine that Meredith edited this year. I worked with her and the art editor Megan Ender to design the book and I’m happy with the way it turned out.

Cauldron cover

See more photos of The Cauldron and it’s unveiling.

Everyone at K does a Senior Individualized Project (SIP) which acts as a final project to encompass the educational experience. The submitted concept must be approved and the student’s expectations are really high for an undergraduate level. Meredith wrote a thematic collection of poetry and today during a Hilberry Symposium panel she introduced her work and read some selections. Later this month you can hear the entire SIP, read by Meredith, at the Humphrey House Lounge on the K College campus. It’s happening on Friday, May 27th at 7:00pm. If you have that time slot open I would highly recommend coming. It’s all about the body and contains a poem about neutering a cat inside a cowboy boot — how can you resist?



Changes and more changes

Major changes are afoot in my life though you wouldn’t know it from reading this weblog. Yes, I’ve been holding out on you. Those of you who see me often in the real world probably know some of it, but a lot has changed in the last week. I’ve had good reasons for my silence but now I think my plans are solidified enough to share.

I’m going back to school to get my Masters Degree in Interaction Design. Rather than go into a lengthily explanation of what that is I’ll point you towards the description given by Interaction Design Institute Ivrea. This field is a good blend of my varied interests and I’m really excited to go back to school. It’s also a new field, so the selection of schools to pick from is small and each has its own personality. I applied and was accepted to the previously mentioned Interaction-Ivrea, The Institute of Design at IIT, NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, and Carnegie Mellon.

Update: I found an even better overview of Interaction Design on the British Design Council website.

So I had my pick, and this is where things get interesting. My first choice was Interaction-Ivrea, which if you hadn’t already noticed is in Italy. The location wasn’t the only reason that it topped my list but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t play a roll. It seemed to be a good mix between different aspects of the other schools. It’s sort of experimental, but still has a design/business/pragmatic focus. So a little over a month ago I was accepted and I started to make plans to move abroad. I got an Italian language training program, I bought a new computer tiny enough to take with me, and I mentally prepared to move. Meredith had previously applied for a job teaching English in France next year and there was a possibility she would be in the south of France, just a short train ride from me in northern Italy. Could anything work out better than that?

I quit my job and on April 29th had my final day. Around 11:30 in the morning as I was heading out to my farewell lunch with coworkers I got an email from Interaction-Ivrea saying that they have “joined forces” with the Domus Academy and would be creating a new program in Milan. In short, they were telling me the school doesnít exist anymore. My acceptance was transferred to this new program but it’s a substantially different situation. The details I have are fuzzy since it hasn’t actually been formed yet, but for one I know that it’s only a year program instead of two. I’m looking for rigorous study and a one year program isn’t what I bargained for, especially not at a newly formed school I know nothing about. So on my last day of work, all excited to move on to my European adventure, my plans got screwed.

Luckily I’m not without options and in the last week I’ve fought through jacked up stress levels to rethink my plans and figure out what Iím doing. This fall I’ll be moving to Pittsburgh to attend Carnegie Mellon. I visited the campus this Thursday where I met some professors, talked with current students, and got a feel for the city.

I’m sure that everything will work out splendidly, and even though I’m in totally different place than I planned for I’m excited. On a related note Meredith got the job she wanted in France, though further north near the Belgian border. So I’ll be moving east in August, she’ll be moving overseas in October, and we’ll be together again next spring in Pittsburgh. That’s the big plan and hopefully nothing drastic will happen to change it. I need to calm down and enjoy this summer.



WOW. I thought about moving to pittsburgh. It seems (from what i’ve read, i’ve never been) like a really kickin’ town for art—amazing even.

Posted by: jim on May 9, 2005 11:19 PM

also, re: “The details I have are fuzzy since it hasnít actually been formed yet, but for one I know that itís only a year program instead of two.” THIS MAKES ME ECSTATIC TO HEAR YOU SAY. Because i know too many people who are like “yay! one year!” I always caution them.

Posted by: jim on May 9, 2005 11:22 PM

i’m glad it all worked out in the end. and i hope there aren’t any more surprises, either.

Posted by: miguel on May 10, 2005 12:32 AM

yay. You and Meredith in PA! Only 4 hours away from B-more.

Posted by: Lisi on May 11, 2005 2:50 PM

Hi, I also applied for the same program and got shock or mylife after i got the news about the merger of IDI and DA. But as you said you had a option available with you and you opted for it, i was not lucky enough and finally i have said yes to go to IDI+DA. I want to explore this opportunity and i think that the course structure which they have designed for one year has a good reflection of what IVREA was earlier. The new program does not have any similarity with Domus Academy idesign program rather its is a shorter version of IDII. So i am ready to explore the world of Interaction Design with a risk of waisting my one year and lot of money. :) Best of Luck to you to join CMU. All the best.

Posted by: Rit on June 22, 2005 5:52 AM

good luck at CMU… one of my good friends went there, he’s now user-interface designer/developer at amazon… i’m still going to IDII-DA. milan is a great place to be. :)

Posted by: yasmina on October 17, 2005 8:09 AM

Have fun in Pitts. It’s a nice city with lots of water, and the people seem very nice. In November, I applied and was accepted to Domus in Milan. I’m looking for $$ and am happy about the 1-year, since I already have a degree with interface design experience. Anyway, Good Luck!!

Posted by: Allison on November 26, 2005 5:57 PM

As far as who can tell?

Chicago, IL

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