Travelog: Mumbai- 30th November, 2008

Mumbai, 30th November 2008

Mumbai, 30th November 2008– the morning after:

Mumbai, 30th November 2008
Mumbai, 30th November 2008

The people yes
The people will live on.
The learning and blundering people will live on.
They will be tricked and sold and again sold
And go back to the nourishing earth for rootholds,
The people so peculiar in renewal and comeback,
You can’t laugh off their capacity to take it.
The mammoth rests between his cyclonic dramas.

The people so often sleepy, weary, enigmatic,
is a vast huddle with many units saying:
“I earn my living.
I make enough to get by
and it takes all my time.
If I had more time
I could do more for myself
and maybe for others.
I could read and study
and talk things over
and find out about things.
It takes time.
I wish I had the time.”

The People, Yes by Carl Sandburg

Travelog: Star Wars Celebration, Indianapolis 2002

In the spring of 2002, just before the release of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, I went to Indianapolis for the second Star Wars Celebration. It is probably the most fun I’ve had on my own, ever.

There is a gallery of celebrity pictures from that trip below. (You can see who is in the pictures by holding your mouse pointer over the photo, or by clicking on it for more details. I have a complete gallery of all the fan photos and the celeb photos on my Star Wars site)

I’ll do another one at some point in the future with all the fans/events. That was really what made the event special– hanging out with hundreds of other people who shared my obsessions. There were lines for so many events, but the lines were where you found the most unlikely of comrades. This was the one place where you didn’t have to hide your crazy; you could wear it as a badge of honor. You could cheer along with the late-night screenings of the films, reciting the dialogue and laughing at inside jokes. And you wouldn’t even be close to the weirdest person there.

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Travelog: Second Life

Have you heard of Second Life? It’s just like your real life, except it’s online, looks spectacular and is mostly empty. And there’s nothing to do. So it’s not like your real life at all. (Unless that does describe your real life, in which case– I’m sorry).

A couple of years ago, Second Life was all the rage. So, back then, I spent an evening in Second Life. It wasn’t the first time I was there, but it was the last. And it was the longest I had ever been. I brought back some pictures, which I’m sharing with you here, so that you never have to go.

I went to a concert, where someone gave me L$500 (Linden dollars) for being new to Second Life. That seemed like a lot of money, what did this person want in return? Nothing, it turned out. Because it wasn’t a lot of money. At the current exchange rate, it’s almost $2 (real US dollars). On the other hand, if someone gave me $2 at a concert in the real world for being “new”, I might run in the other direction. I kept flying around the concert, looking like an idiot, while all the cool kids seemed to be having a good time. Or at least their pretty digital avatars were smiling and self-assured.

I found a Bollywood area that was empty. A Hollywood movie area. That was empty. A political extravaganza starring the big flying head of Rudy Giuliani. That was empty too. In short, a lot of it was empty.

There were some truly beautiful parts of this virtual world. I wonder who created them and why. I flew over them for a few minutes, but like Ferris Bueller says about Cameron’s house, “The place is like a museum. It’s very beautiful and very cold, and you’re not allowed to touch anything.”

After a little while, I left Second Life and returned to my first one. Second Life had potential, but it’s like any other club– if nobody goes, then nobody goes. And if you’re there without friends, what do you do?

Travelog: Thatcher St, Boston Mass.

If you’ve been to the North End in Boston, you might know what’s on Thatcher street. It’s the venerable Pizzeria Regina. If you’ve never been there, but have eaten at one of the many Reginas they have in mall food courts, I weep for you. The food court Regina is an abomination, the original is an experience. It’s a tiny little place, and you wait outside snow or shine. The gruff, businesslike waitstaff are there only to serve you the best pizza– not to ask you how your day was honey, or to hope you’ll have a good weekend.

Here’s the line outside (click for larger version):