So New: In Which I Eat at Mesh (29 of 90)

I’ve fallen in love with Massachusetts Avenue in Indianapolis, which I suppose isn’t very difficult to do since there’s so much happening in the area. Theater. Restaurants. Art galleries. Ice cream. (The ice cream cannot be under-rated. You should trust me on that.)

I’ve grown to enjoy it a bit more than Broad Ripple, which seems a bit more college-like in its atmosphere (although to pigeon-hole that area entirely as that wouldn’t do it justice) and definitely more than Fountain Square, which is a bit run down.

Every time I’ve ventured down, though, I’ve walked past restaurant called Mesh – which has large glass windows and a gorgeous awning over the front door – and promised myself I’d get down there soon. Last Friday, I finally found my way down.

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So New: In Which I See the Alison Brown Quartet (28 of 90)

Tonight I had the chance to see the Alison Brown Quartet at Pruis Hall with my friend Megan, who is fast becoming a Go To Partner-in-Crime.

I’m normally not big on music, but I’m a sucker for most bluegrass music (or really anything with a banjo).

And I’m glad I found my way to this show. It wasn’t long – or it didn’t feel long – but it was wonderfully relaxing and entertaining.

At times it felt a bit like Storytellers, as she introduced her songs with rather lengthy stories. But I’m not adverse to such things. Particularly in a venue where the night felt intimate.

Megan and I both agreed, though, the drummer really tore it up. And I was surprised to see a piano player with a bluegrass band. Happily surprised. I always think of my sister and think “I’ll be she could do that better.” He was pretty good, though.

It was a pleasant way to end what has been the busiest week I’ve ever had as a professor. It was filled with work, professional presentations, student fun and relaxation. Which I guess is what the best week’s are supposed to have.

So let me leave you with just a bit of what I saw tonight…

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Homecoming Arrives (Addendum)

I promise after today there will be no more posts about Homecoming. But there are some photographs floating around in the wild that my friends have decided needed to be shared.

Here I am tossing candy to the kiddies who lined the parade route (although it certainly looks as though I am acknowledging the masses). This was taken by Hillary Tribbett, who clearly isn’t one of my students because she does not have the proper fear.

King_Parade 

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So New: In Which I Party Like It’s 1999 (26 of 90)

My friend Reagin arrived on Friday night for three reasons:

  • attend the alumni awards dinner with me (for Faculty Homecoming King purposes)
  • hit The Vogue in Indianapolis for a Prince Tribute band
  • attend the Homecoming football game

We’ll get to the third later and the first isn’t important for these purposes. But the Prince Tribute band. That is important.

We had to slip out of the alumni dinner a bit early (just after we’d eaten dinner and I’d been announced) so we could get to Indianapolis before it was too late. Mind you, we still arrived at The Vogue Nightclub (see my Yelp review here) at 10:15 pm. Which is ridiculously late for the two of us.

We were each, I believe, hoping the other would insist we were simply too tired to go out.

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So New: In Which I Survive TedxCincinnati (25 of 90)

I wished I had Brad King as a professor in journalism school. The Ball State University professor is a fellow researching how new technologies impact story-telling. He reminded the crowd that no one is a digital native. — TEDxCincy showcases think power, Laura Baverman in the Cincinnati Enquirer

Tedx_Screen2

It was a good day at the TedxCincy conference.

There’s simply no way I can thank everyone, but I’m going to start at least: the awesome crew who made this event happen (Mary, Michael, Emily and David), the volunteers, the other speakers, the Ball State University Center for Media Design folks, my students and former students (Rhett, Becky, Logan), my friends (Kevin, Dacia, Elizabeth), plus all the wonderful people I met (Katie, Suzanne, Meredith).

There were truly amazing speakers, people who just simply blew my mind. Here are my top 5 in no particular order (leaving out Dhani Jones, who was also spectacular):

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So New: In Which I Officially – and Formally – Leave Media and Technology Behind(24 of 90)

Tedx_AranoffSeating

Tomorrow I will give a talk in the Aronoff Center for the Arts about a topic I know very little about.

This is a new experience for me. New in the sense that I haven’t really had this feeling in years. I’ve spent the better part of the last 15 years working with emerging media and journalism, a field that’s roughly 15 years old. (And I’ve been on the Internet since 1985…which is the kind of math I don’t much care to do.)

I’ve been about as expert-y in the field as one can be since the time this was a field that people talked about.

I couldn’t tell you the day I became one of those experts. I can only tell you that I am one. (Whether you chose to believe that or not is inconsequential to the reality of my premise.) At least I am for one last day.

Tedx_Screen

Because tomorrow – Wednesday, Oct 6, 2010 – I’m going to reboot my world, and I’m going to do it in front of 1,000 people. No more news and technology. I know about as much on this topic as you can functionally know. I’ve built my legacy and it’s time to move on, to let the next generation of news and technologists do what they will.

For me, the next phase of my career is strictly storytelling: building transmedia stories that use fiction and non-fiction while blending real life and cyberspace. That teach, that immerse and that persist all around.

Go big or go home because failure is an option, I tell my students. And I’m going to live that particular mantra tomorrow sometime around 10:30 am.

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So New: In Which I Become Faculty Homecoming King (23 of 90)

Today is an entertaining day in the Arts + Journalism building at Ball State University.

Not for me, mind you, although I do enjoy the smiles and giggles that surround me as I walk through the hallways. Today the glee is for my friends, former students and others who conspired to elect me as the Faculty Homecoming King.

Of course I’m duly horrified at this, which has only excited my friends and students even more. Not because I dislike celebrations. I quite enjoy them. I simply prefer the idea of celebrating work and achievement.

But my upbringing didn’t allow me to beg out of this student-led event. My father (a man of few rules) had told me on more than one occasion that he had one particular rule he always tried to follow with his kids: whenever my sister or I called, he would answer the phone because he figured if we were coming to him for help, we must need something. And, he said, he never knew when that would stop and he didn’t want to miss anything.

I’ve adopted that philosophy in my teaching career as much as I could: whenever my kids do something or need something, I try to answer.

This includes participating in Homecoming.

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So New: In Which I go to Angels in America (22 of 90)

I’ve been aspirational with Something New.

With every event I’ve lined up (save the ones that involve much personal embarrassment, such as tomorrow night’s crowning of the Faculty Homecoming King and Queen), I’ve purchased multiple tickets. I’ve done so to ensure that I don’t flake out and that I remind myself that life is about the people around me, not the things I do.

This weekend, the Ball State University theater department’s Fall series opened with Angels in America. Since I’d purchased season tickets, it seemed a good time to re-connect with an old college friend Steph.

She’s a busy little bee and we don’t get to see each other often, but she decided to drive up for the night.

Normally she’s sporting her Wee Beastie, but the content of this particular play wasn’t suitable for a kid so we decided to make an adult night out of it.

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So New: In Which I Go To First Friday (20 of 90)

FirstFriday

I’ve always lived in cities where artists were everywhere. Austin, San Francisco and Boston. I’ve even arranged most of my big travel around the writing and art.

And yet. I’ve never really indulged in the artiness of the towns I’ve lived in.

Until now. Tonight I went to First Friday, the art galley walk in downtown Indianapolis on Massachusetts Avenue, one of the main hipster streets in the city. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. But it turned out to be amazingly fun.

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So New: In Which I Complete My 1/2 Marathon (17 of 90)

February 4, 2010.

That’s the day I quit smoking. Thirty-three weeks, 2 days, 9 hours and 52 minutes ago as I write this.

I was tired of feeling sluggish. I was tired of being a fatty. I was tired of not feeling my body. I was just tired. So I decided it was time to quit.

I knew I needed to two things to succeed: Commit lozenges and an exercise regiment. The lozenges were easy. Just go to Wal-greens. The regiment required a bit more mental toughness.

Fortunately, I was an athlete of some sort in a previous life so I feel comfortable in the gym. Unfortunately, I travel often and didn’t know if I’d stick to my routine as I jetted across the planet. But I did. Nearly every day I was supposed to run, I did. In Texas, Iowa, Nebraska, California, Ohio, Indiana. In Berlin, London, Sheffield, Northampton and Brighton.

And that’s when everything changed.

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