Checkpoint Charlie

Travel & Adventure — Sean Bonner @ 6:49 am


Paris was hectic and insane. It was great to see some old friends, meet some new ones, and do a bit of networking but in hindsight the majority of my time there was spent walking the streets looking for a hotel, sitting in the lobby of a hotel I wasn’t staying at, or sitting in the room of the hotel I was staying at watching live video streams of the LeWeb3 conference happening down the street. I probably could have done that from Vienna, but oh well. More stamps on my passport if nothing else. I left Paris at stupid o’clock yesterday morning, flew to London, then backtracked to Berlin. Clearing customs in Berlin was the first time this entire trip that the agents have given me a second look. I guess my travel is starting to look suspicious.

Agent: You were in France this morning?
Me: Yep.
Agent: And now you just flew here from London?
Me: Yep?
Agent: Seems like a long route to take, any reason for it?
Me: That’s a good question, if British Air will answer it for you I’d love to hear it.
Agent: Is this business?
Me: Nope, visiting friends.
Agent: How long are you staying in Berlin?
Me: About 48 hours.
Agent: Then you return to the US?
Me: No, to Vienna, I’m living there for the month. That flight is also via London, if you can believe that.
Agent: ..
Me: .
Agent: Have a night stay in German. *stamp*

Unfortunately there are no trains that run to the Berlin airport so I went to the taxi stand and hunted down one that was covered with stickers of all the credit cards the accept. Half hour or so later we pulled up to the flat where I’m crashing and I hand the guy my plastic. He’s not thrilled. I point to the stickers and he just shakes his head no. I pay the man in cash and go on my way. The rest of the day was filled with food, coffee and friends. Both online and off. Tonight is the Creative Commons 5 year anniversary party at C-Base then then I’m back to Vienna tomorrow. Very excited about both.

Berlin Streets at night

More Paris/LeWeb3 last minuteness

Travel & Adventure — Sean Bonner @ 7:34 pm

Oh, and in a short follow up to the travel part of my previous post – after trying to book no less than 10 hotels in Paris, and having the price jump significantly on the checkout page I got fed up and quit. This means I’ll be landing in Paris with no solid plans for a place to stay, at least as of this moment. I’ve got a few offers from folks who live in/around Paris to crash at their houses but I don’t know if those are going to be convenient to LeWeb3 at all, and while that’s a better option than sleeping on a park bench, spending assloads of cash on taxis defeats the purpose of not staying in a hotel. So, any friends, neighbors, countrymen who are already set up and booked at hotels in/near/around the LeWeb3 conference in Paris who have an extra bed, couch, floorspace that they’d be willing to share, please let me know. I’ll happily chip in for the cost of the room, I just couldn’t deal with jumping through any more hoops today.

That said, I land at 5:30pm ish – should I go straight to the conference hall or somewhere else? I checked FaceBook but all the events listed seem to start at 8am so I’m sure I’m missing something.


The journey continues

Naschmarket at night

Physically and metaphorically. In a few hours I’m jumping on a train and heading back to the Vienna airport where I’ll catch a flight to London, then another back to Paris. I’ve never been to Paris, or France for that matter so this will be cool for crossing off one more place from the list, though I’ll only be there for about 48 hours and most of that will be spent at LeWeb3 so it’ll be an interesting way to see a new city. Then, before I even know I’m back on a plane, back to London, though again only as a stop over, and then over to Berlin. I’m going there to wish Creative Commons a happy 5th birthday and see friends who I haven’t seen in, well.. weeks? Right about the time I catch my breath and stop my head from spinning I’m back on a plane, back to London, and then back to Vienna. Nothing like zigzagging all over freaking Europe. W00t!

That’s the trackable stuff, the personal, less quantifiable continues as well. The people I’ve met and hung out with on this trip have had a huge impact on me, and pushed me to think of and consider things in entirely new ways. This is always good, and something I seem to be drawn more and more towards. “Oh, you want to totally shatter my current thought process and rebuild the ideas in ways I hadn’t thought of? Tell me more!” Of course seeing those around me also considering, changing, tearing down and rebuilding is also inspiring. Tantek & Micki – I’m doing my best to pay it forward. I totally know what you were talking about before, I didn’t then but lots more makes sense all the sudden. Funny how that works out I suppose.

That said, it’s 2am and I need to be on a train to the airport by 8. I haven’t packed at all, nor figured out where the hell I’m even going when I get off the plane in Paris. One way or another tomorrow is going to be packed with adventure. And I’ve got a feeling the week is only going to get more interesting each step of the way. Fingers crossed…

links for 2007-12-08

Links & Fun — Sean Bonner @ 12:25 am

Oh gang violence, wah wah, we had the third reich!

Travel & Adventure — Sean Bonner @ 7:56 pm

Scott Blake talking at the Musemsquartier, Vienna

Tonight Scott Blake presented his Bar Code Art at the Musemsquarter here in Vienna. I worked with monochrom to get him in while I was here as part of my residency. I’ve known Scott for like 15 years or something and the amount of trouble we’ve caused over the years is rather immense, and I’ve loved his work since he first started playing with Bar Codes so I was really psyched to help get this together. I really wish we had video of it, because hearing him talk about it was amazing. (more pics here)

It funny, I was expecting this week to be a bit more calm from the first week I was here since Roboxotica is officially over (btw, audio from all the Roboxotica talks, including mine, are online now) however it’s been anything but. On Monday I spoke at the Akademie Der Bildenden Künste Wien aka The Academy of Fine Art here in Vienna (yes, the very one Hitler was kicked out of before moving to Germany) – I was expecting it to last an hour or so, but it went for almost 6 hours. Contrary to what you might instantly assume this was a good thing, the class was interested and asked a lot of questions and Leo, the professor, had a great deal of accessory info to add to what I was talking about and I have a list of notes I need to follow up on and research myself. I’ll have more to write on that very soon. I didn’t realize it was going as long as it was until, well, until it went that long.

Next week I’m playing insane jetsetter again and decided to bounce over to Paris to lobbycon LeWeb3. Then I found out about a Creative Commons 5 year event in Berlin just following that, so decided to tack that on to the trip too. And just to make it that much more fun every stupid leg of the trip, Vienna to Paris to Berlin and back to Vienna, in 3 days, routes though London. Fucking hell. At least none of it is overnight. So yeah, Paris folks who want to get together on the 11th or 12th let me know, and Berlin folks let me know about the 13th and 14th. I’m back in Vienna on the 15th.

Academy of Fine Art, Vienna

Tomorrow I meet the other residents at the Museumsquarter this month, which I expect will be cool and I’m going to try and hit up some of the other amazing museums withing spitting distance of my apartment. That feels so funny to say, I’m actually living here now, as opposed to sleeping in someone else’s guest room or at a hotel. Even if it’s just for a month, it’s still something I never thought I’d be doing. Before I leave at the end of the year I hope to pull off some other cool events, and I think I’ll be speaking at the University in Graz as well. I’ve made a few great new friends which is more than I was expecting honestly, but I’m rather happy about. Of course I miss my friends in LA, but a few folks here have been going above and beyond to make me feel welcome. And I can’t thank them enough, so I won’t even try. More soon.

(title is a quote by Johannes at dinner tonight, top photo is Scott talking, bottom photo is the Academy of Fine Art)

A very important post about the truth

Links & Fun — Sean Bonner @ 9:11 am

The Truth

a sight to sore your eyes

Travel & Adventure — Sean Bonner @ 5:05 pm

Smashed to Pieces

Tram 49

at Phil, in Vienna, drinkin' coffee

Coffee and Cigarettes

On top of the The Leeberg Tumulus

view from the top of the The Leeberg Tumulus

Still Free

fly in the disappointment

Me, Myself, and this blog — Sean Bonner @ 4:56 pm

I realized today I’ve become a lot more cynical and jaded than I ever was, which is saying quite a bit because I’ve been pretty fucking cynical and jaded for a long time. I started thinking about this earlier on this trip when someone was talking about something, I don’t recall exactly what, but it was in reference to someone who was married and a 3rd party who was interested in one member of the couple, and they said “well in San Francisco you can at least ask ‘how married?'” Point being that to many people being “married” means they are just with that one other person and that is the end of the discussion, where as in San Francisco it could mean that, or it could mean something else entirely. I know people who are married who regularly make out with other people they aren’t married to, and with the consent of their marriage partner. Sometimes it doesn’t end at making out. And sometimes that isn’t the only thing that ends.

I don’t have any first hand experience with that, and honestly don’t want to. My feelings are if you are in a committed relationship you need to be committed to it. If you aren’t, you need to get out of it. One person being more committed than the other is just a bomb waiting to blow things all to hell. Those couples are better off not being a couple, but I refuse to play any hand in it. It’s tricky when that’s out in the open, and even worse when it’s not. There was a time when marriage meant “for as long as you both shall live.” That’s not a cliche, there was a point in history when people did in fact stay together for the rest of their lives when they got married. If people had problems they worked them out because they were stuck with that person for ever. That changed at some point, and as I was explaining to a friend a few months back, the fact that people now have the option to get a divorce and not be a social outcast, or maybe find something better has become a self fulfilling prophecy of sorts. If you have no choice, you find ways to make things work, if you have a choice, that is always on the table somewhere and eventually it’s more appealing than fixing whatever problem is at hand. It’s not shocking that the divorce rate continues to climb, and my guess is that it will keep on keeping on.

Coming to this conclusion is cool on some level because I feel like I have some kind of actual insight about how things work – like I’m not under the same delusion as everyone else, but sucks on some level because I know that some fairy tails don’t come true. It also makes it hard to know how to react to other people who are on the other end of that spectrum, either just married or just getting married. Oddly enough relating to people who have been married for a while is no problem because they know the score already. How do you be happy for someone, while at the same time know that chances are they are building a house that is eventually going to get knocked down. Like I said, a new level of cynical and jaded. Sorry about that.

And then, there’s the other end of it where someone is in a relationship that is over, but not publicly or officially or even maybe they just don’t even know it. In talking to people here and there over the last year I’ve been shocked how many people were going through the same thing I was at the same time, but neither of us knew the other was in that situation. It might have been helpful, or consoling to have someone to talk to who knew exactly what I was in the middle of, but I wasn’t letting on and neither were they. One more awesome thing to chalk up on the ego score card. Stupid ego, always playing damage control. Oh well, the fun things you learn after the fact…

I don’t know why I’m thinking so much about this this week, well actually this week would have been my 9th year wedding anniversary so I guess I know exactly why I’m thinking about it. I just have to remember to keep building new dreams for tomorrow, and not focus on the ones that died yesterday.

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