Sunday, June 14, 2009

Computer, Art and Podcast Plans

Well the computer and I are barely on speaking terms this week because their is still something wrong and it is crashing. I am not sure what I should do about it though. Just taking it to a specialist to look at and get an estimate of possible repairs cost money. This is a 600 dollar computer so I have a very finite window of what I am willing to pay to repair it. So I have been looking at computers to purchase just to refamiliarize myself with what is out there and the prices of them. Anyway my first course of action would to take this thing in and have them look at it. The problem with that is I need a computer for my schooling and if they don't diagnose immediately I would run into problems waiting for it to be fixed. So do I just buy a cheap laptop to work with and then take this beast in? Should I put this crashing monstrosity aside and get a little better of a computer and seek getting this fixed later on down the road? Should I get a netbook (the mini laptops) and use it for school while this gets fixed? I could probably get a cheap laptop for 400 bucks or a cheap netbook for 250 to 300 bucks. Then I have a little bit of money to get this thing looked at. Of course if I spent 700 bucks I could get a pretty decent computer with better features and specs. These are the things running through my head.

Besides the computer dilemmas I have been working on my latest class. It is about teaching art to elementary and middle school kids. This week our assignments were to create a resources list and to critique a work of art. I chose The Suicide of Dorothy Hale by Frida Kahlo for my art critique. I am not sure if you have ever seen that painting but it is spectacularly gruesome. Dorothy Hale, a friend of Frida, committed suicide by leaping off the balcony of her skyscraper apartment. She had recently lost her husband and was depressed, she had a going away party, wrote letters to friends, said her goodbyes and then jumped. Frida was commissioned by a mutual friend to paint something in her memory for Dorothy's mother. Frida painted a scene of her death. The painting is a story it shows a small figure jumping, then a larger figure wrapped in clouds going down and finally one laying on the ground dead. Blood is coming from her, a little recap of the events is written in the same color as the blood and there are blood splatters at the base of the painting. It is something I originally saw last summer at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art with my mom and Becky. It was quite a horrific exhibit as Frida Kahlo is a wee bit morbid. That being said I like her artwork and I think this particular painting is extraordinary. It made an impression on me and is one of the ones I always think of when I think of Frida Kahlo. Anyway, the nice thing is I did a lot of art inspired lessons for my last class and I will be able to choose one and refine it for this week's major assignment.

I am working on a new podcast idea in between school and fighting with this computer. I am really hoping this will be a little more fun to listen to. The main thing I am going to try to do is make it real fun for me to do the podcast. If I am enjoying what I am doing I could care less if most people don't. Of course I am hoping that you do. The first podcasts I did were not a lot of fun as I had no idea what to do. I was doing what I do in my occasional updates (like this one) and just telling you what was going on. I am sure these updates are the least favorite blogs I write so why would I make them the crux of a podcast and expect people to listen. So I decided to think about what I wanted from the podcast and what I could do to make them fun. First off I think I have figured out how to get a few interviews. One way I will do this is by getting a digital voice recorder to do some recording in the field. I ordered a Sony online and added a few components to broaden my abilities. The first is a noise canceling microphone I can use if I am doing a solo podcast. Then I added something I can add to a phone to record phone conversations. Of course if I record you I will let you know first that we are recording for a possible podcast. The next major step is I am spending more time thinking my way through the podcast flow. I am writing down questions to ask in interviews and topics to discuss with other people or even to explore by myself. The last portion I am doing is writing some poetry I am planning to turn into a spoken word piece. This will take a little longer then the other things because I have to like the poem and then I have to figure out how to present it. I imagine a lot of revising and recording to get one spoken word poem. I am hoping to have the first revised podcast posted this week. If it goes according to plan it should be an interview. Wish me luck.

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