Photos and Words of Patrick Calder

I live in Washington, DC with 1 cat named Pixel, 6 cameras, 3 computers, 158 movies, 286 books, and 1 bowling pin. I own the Design Foundry and pretend to be a graphic designer by day.

Please keep in mind that this post is more than 3 years old. Opinions change. Tastes change. Everything changes. I may still agree with or like this, or I may not. But everything is kept up here for archival purposes.

Post-meaningful. / February 22, 2004

In some ways, I am very much the lazy fuck that I consider the rest of the world to be.
I do my laundry Sunday nights. I do my shopping Sundays, late afternoon. Which allows me many opportunities to see the residents of this fair city doing their best impressions of a deer in the headlights.
But for reasons that failed to occur, I got out early today. It’s amazing to walk through the Soviet Safeway unimpeded, actually find food on the shelves, and spend less than 20 minutes in line.

I realized yesterday that for the first time, I have a computer that really is capable of being the center of my life(style). I’m sitting here reviewing my to-do list and seeing whose birthday I missed. And downloading music. And pulling the photos off my camera. And grabbing my email. And, of course, posting this to my website.
Being able to do each of these things isnt new. And being able to do them all at once is hardly worth noticing anymore. But I’m sitting in my window, with my computer in my lap, not plugged into anything. None of this was difficult to set up. If any of it cost me anything, it was less than what I spent on my chai tea last month. And I can throw it in my backpack and take it with me to Texas.
It’s all there in an unobtrusive way, organizing my life and letting me communicate with others.
Now if it just had breasts.

I hid myself in the garden pathway that separates the Smithsonian Castle from the Hirshhorn Museum, in order to finish my book (Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson) yesterday. Further down the Mall, a large group of Chinese people on a major caffeine high were singing, chanting, and extolling the virtues of friendship and democracy in a very Disney-esque way. (I did suppress my gag reflex, thank you). I was sitting in this beautifully tended, but quite dead, garden, looking up at the Hirshorn, which is an incredibly massive horizontal circle, with no outer windows at all. With clockwork regularity, the overblown Chinese sound-system belted out a very adamant sounding young man, followed by someone that if I could see her, would surely have been a hostess on a Japanese game-show, wrapping up the cycle with this incredible, presumably Mandarin, atmospheric opera music.
Later, I was quite worried about getting to close to them. I’m pretty certain I would have woken up in an airport many months later, wearing pajamas and handing out brochures.

Incidentally, the current photo exhibit at the Hirshorn — Douglas Gordon I believe — utter crap. I have personally sat there and explained how an all-black painting is a great academic work, and why a signed toilet bowl is of interest to anyone. But the pictures, movies and such I saw yesterday were bad. Very, very bad. There was no obvious attempt to put the exhibit into context. And I’m really not so bored with life so as to spend my own time researching why an eight foot tall screen showing a black & white film of an elephant sleeping was art.
The only thing I found the least bit clever or interesting was the video of a finger luring you into the start of the exhibit. Too bad most of the people didn’t quite grasp it’s meaning, and instead wandered around unsure of where to go.
The last time I saw a show at this massive structure, it took me at least an hour to wander through the entire circumference of the building. So yesterday I was a little disconcerted when I found myself walking out the other side in less than 10 minutes.
I had a much better time looking at the funny naked people in the basement.

I wish I had my cat’s ability to use my own body as a pillow.

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