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  • jeindeer 4:31 pm on January 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , convention, science fiction   

    #3: Attend a Science Fiction Convention 

    I’m a big science fiction fan.  It runs in my family.  Give me your Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate, Battlestar Galactica, Firefly, Farscape–franchise or standalone, short story, novel, television- or mini-series or movie.  I’m a sucker for a good myth arc, be it preachy, quippy, campy, or politically allegorical.  I guess you could say that I enjoy slipping into other worlds, or the idea that this one has whole secret patterns we just haven’t noticed yet. 

    One universe that does exist, but which I’ve never explored, is the Science Fiction Convention itself.  I’ve been invited, I’ve been coaxed, but I’ve never committed to going.  It’s usually the road trip that puts me off.  Imagine my surprise to find that a science fiction convention was in town last weekend. I’d already missed the first day of Arisia 2010 by the time I discovered it, and I had plans to attend the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting.  Since it’s the year of 52 adventures I decided to take a break from a conference that used science to organize fiction to visit a science fiction convention. It was just in Cambridge!  Not a long trip at all. Except, of course, that the day I picked to venture out with a couple of like-minded neighbors was one of the slushiest I’ve ever seen. Appropriately enough, we now had a quest.

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  • jeindeer 6:22 pm on January 13, 2010 Permalink | Reply

    #2: No Pants T Ride – “But get on that train right here.” 

    January 10th, 2010: Boston’s Society of Sponteneity’s third annual No Pants T Ride.  Wearing regular underwear in public doesn’t violate decency laws; wearing regular underwear and a sweater plus a coat, scarf, hat, and knee socks gives you maybe eight times more coverage than your average bathing suit.  It’s legal, but it’s strange, unexpected, and horrifyingly cold– an excellent fit for the second of 52 adventures.

    The Alewife T station is the northern end of Boston’s red line, and looks kind of like a stern Soviet aviation museum.  Participants were instructed to meet there (still in pants) and find for organizers with question mark umbrellas.  Kim and I got there early, before BSOS popped up, and immediately sought out coffee.  It’s important to be alert for public transporation pants-shedding.  We approached the nearest restaurant in Alewife–approached, that is, until we saw the wild turkey standing on the stoop.  Staring at us.  Daring.  When it comes down to it a gigantic bird is a stronger deterrent than even the cruelest Yelp review, so we tracked back to the in-station Dunkin’ Donuts counter.  I prepped that coffee on a metal payphone table and went over two facts made clearer by caffeine: “The Summer Shack” had a large, live turkey for a bouncer, and it was not the strangest thing I was going to see that hour.

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    • eatveggiesdrinkwine 2:27 pm on January 16, 2010 Permalink

      What a fantastic adventure — and a great picture to boot! Excellent work.

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  • jeindeer 2:23 pm on January 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , boston sos, , music,   

    #2: No Pants T Ride (pre-adventure) 


    So it’s really happening, and I’m really going to be a participant.

    As I sit here trying to pick an album for my morning commute, it dawns on me for the first time that whichever one I choose will be remembered forever as the album from that time I rode the T pantsless. That adds a pretty new dose of realism. It’s a monumental choice to make at 9:00 on a Sunday morning. The way I figure it, the only way I can keep from “breaking character”–showing so much as a snicker as commuters drop trou en masse–is to choose something upbeat enough that I can nod along with drowsy intent. I haven’t picked one yet. I think it’s going to have to be a spur-of-the-moment choice, which makes sense, because that’s pretty much the only way to decide this is a good idea.

    Have a late-breaking urge to join up? We’re meeting at the Alewife T stop at noon. Look at the folks with the question mark umbrellas; they’re the organizers from Boston S.O.S., who’ll give out routing information. Additionally, if you sign up for an account beforehand (http://www.soscities.org/) and give your username to an organizer, you’ll get points in that web site’s currency which can be converted into donation dollars for a charity of your choice.

    If time, distance or common sense deter you from participating, you can still track updates through the twitter #NoPantsBoston hashtag at http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23NoPantsBoston. The fact that it takes place underground will probably keep updates limited, but maybe the people on the above-ground lines will be extra talkative.

  • jeindeer 12:49 am on January 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Improv, , organizing,   

    Planning: No Pants T Ride 

    This Sunday (1/10) is apparently the 3rd annual No Pants Subway Ride organized through Improv Everywhere. A Boston version is being organized by the folks at Boston S.O.S. (Society for Sponteneity), with the facebook event below. Fear not, it doesn’t involve No Pants Whatsoever; more like Less Pants Than Usual. Shorts are acceptable, even encouraged. Contributions have to fall within the threshold of “legal,” but they also are probably “unwise.” There were over 100 participants in Boston last year.

    I’m a long-time fan of Improv Everywhere, and this is one of my favorite acts of street theater they’ve pulled off (har har har). The effort through facebook doesn’t seem to be very coordinated yet, but if they start putting down some concrete plans, I may just be swayed.


    I say we pack the stands.

    • Anonymous 2:46 am on January 8, 2010 Permalink

      Seven of my adventuresom friends and I have decided that instead of making resolutions we would each make a list of things we have never done and will do in 2010. The lists are being shared and they are great. My list includes: make a souffle, go on a winter picnic, visit a local shrine, take a helicopter ride, go to the top of our City Hall and take a watercolor class to paint something to hang in my home. My friends’ lists include everything from making an apple pie from scratch to going to a National Park to watch the moose mate. We will help each other and join each other as we work to do our “firsts”. By the end of 2010 we will have an impressive list!

    • jscribe 3:57 am on January 8, 2010 Permalink

      Anonymous! Join the Year of 52 and share all your adventures with all of us! So exciting!

    • yearof52adventures 4:26 am on January 8, 2010 Permalink

      I have to agree with jscribe. I love the idea and think you should all team up with us. I’ll assign you as authors and you can regale us again and again with your lovely adventures.

    • Aggie (anonymous) 5:50 pm on January 8, 2010 Permalink

      I will share our adventures as we undertake them,

  • jeindeer 3:53 pm on January 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Possible Adventures 

    I don’t have 52, but some of the ideas I’m working with include:

    Take an exhaustive inventory of all the belongings I have with me here in Boston.

    Read a bunch of Poe, then take the “Raven in the Frog Pond” Poe walk through Boston as illustrated in the BPL exhibit.

    Attend a B movie marathon in its entirety.

    Participate in a poetry reading. As a reader.

    Attend a cake decorating class.

    Try to become an extra in a movie.

    Detoxification week. No caffeine, alcohol, sugary junk food, or meat, and easy on the cheese. Not so much a “cleanse” as airing out the weird shamanistic relationship I have with food—ice cream doesn’t solve problems.

    Take a chess lesson or attend a chess seminar to learn basic strategy.

    Same deal with playing pool.

    Extend my memorized multiplication tables up to fifteen–I’m embarrassed by how long it takes me to do simple math sometimes.

    Go to a wine tasting.

    Finish reading Infinite Jest in some specific place. It’s already been a memorable book for me, and I think it would be worthwhile to read the last hundred pages or so (granted, I’m not there yet) in a location I’d like to remember.

    Beg, borrow, or steal my way back to Pittsburgh to revisit the participatory improv show I attended in undergrad, and actually go up for a few scenes.

    Develop a “signature dish.” Document the preparation in some kind of faux food blog entry. (Sub-adventure: figure out how to work settings on camera.)

    Play a board game in a public place, with the usual degree of enthusiasm I use to play board games, which is: an embarrassing degree of enthusiasm. Attempt to recruit passerby.

    Possibly: No Pants T Ride on Sunday? The Boston version of Improv Everywhere’s annual No Pants T Ride is planned for this Sunday, and if they get their act together, I might be swayed.

  • jeindeer 3:26 pm on December 26, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: juggling, pledge, talent   

    Happy boxing day, adventurers!

    I might have a houseguest during week 1/52, so my inaugural adventure isn’t going to be a bona fide outing–more an 80’s action movie training montage that extends through multiple days. I don’t have enough strange novelty talents to whip out at a moment’s notice, so I have decided to teach myself how to juggle. I’m going to devote as much time as necessary during the first week of 2010 to keeping three items or more consistently airborne. I checked it out online, and they suggest apples as well-weighted, inexpensive starters, so if you knock on my door and all you hear is a noise of surprise followed by three dull thuds, that’s the story.

    • Dahrann 2:05 pm on May 4, 2011 Permalink

      You’re on top of the game. Thanks for shianrg.

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