Sunday, June 10, 2007

box and other things

I am mostly finished with work for the summer. The plan for the summer season is to work about two days a week. That’s more time than I was counting on for the summer, so I’m pleased about that.

One roommate and I took advantage of a cool afternoon last week to walk around the local college campus wearing a tall box. We alternated wearing the box and taking pictures of it. There is a tiny hole to look through. I was trying to navigate using the hole as a camera obscura, but it was difficult to get an image that was not either too dark or too blurry. Looking through the hole itself turned out to be a lot easier.

Some people tried asking questions to the person in the box, but we stayed quiet. Often people would knock on the box. We started responding by immediately dropping the box from “walking position” down to the ground, as if it was a safety response. People enjoyed that. Once someone tried to push me over, but they didn’t try too hard, and weren’t successful. Most of the people who voiced comments decided that it was “art” or an “art project”. The most common question was probably “Why are you walking around in a box?”

At first I was trying to be inconspicuous while I took pictures, but it turns out that everybody has a camera phone, and everybody wants to take pictures of some box walking around. It was less conspicuous just to pull out the camera and shoot away. A couple times a group of two or three students would start following the box, so we had to try harder to not let people realize that the photographer was in on it, staying further apart and circling around some places.

It also happens that classes at the university were ending this week, so everybody is moving out of their dorms. We’ve been going through the dumpsters and trash piles as much as we can, trying to rescue the useful items. Highlights include:

+ portable mp3 player, in package
+ retracting projector screen
+ twelve piece food storage container set (”tupperware”), unused
+ 500mb usb thumb drive, with wedding photos
+ rubik’s cube, some stickers wearing off but turns well
+ enough laundry detergent to last until next year at least
+ more blank paper (lined, unlined or graphing) than we will ever use
+ several fans
+ many backpacks
+ excessive clothing
+ food (cans of vegetarian soup, vegetarian gyoza, ground buffalo, soy milk, yogurts, bananas, soy sauce, peanut butters, etc; all still cold of frozen where applicable)

We took a small fraction of what was available. If we took everything worth keeping, there would be no room in our house for us to live. Even so, we have more stuff than we want or need, and have plans to redistribute as much of it as possible. The most common items that we didn’t take include futon mattresses and futon-couch frames, carpets and rugs, rolling chairs, most of the gross college food (ramen noodles, candy and snacks, microwaveable sandwiches, toaster pastries, etc), plus lots of dry-erase message boards and other “college life” necessities.

In a few more weeks, it will be the non-campus housing move-out season, so hopefully we’ll find people who want most of this stuff before then.