Saturday, February 12, 2005

CCM Art Show

Deadly Propellers! Bike Art! Artsy Folks!

The CCM Art Show had it all and it was a good time. See pics Here!

It took me a while to piece together the full story, but a piece of artwork became dangerous last night. When I arrived several guys were working building some sort of installation involving bicycle components. I didn't pay too much attention to it, figuring I'd wait for it to be finished. I never saw it in action because it broke after a dangerous break-down. What it was supposed to be was a spinning, pedal-power contraption. A three pronged base (each spoke about a yard long) supported a pedal-station that could spin atop the base. Jutting outward from this was an arm stretching a bicycle chain that spun a propeller. The arm was supported by two bicycle wheels that were basically perpendicular to the arm, but in a somewhat curved position. If this makes any sense, the way it was supposed to work was for propeller to push the arm around in a circle as the pedal station spun atop the base. Several square yards of clearnance were needed if it was working.

There was a commotion and I went to check it out:

Blade, meet Wall; Wall, Blade.

What I saw was a metal blade of the propeller halfway buried in the plaster wall, broken off from the remaining blade that now looked like a boomarang.

WTF!?! I originally thought that the blade broke off and flew into the wall. What really happened was that the whole propeller fell off, bounced on the floor and jumped into the wall--upon impact the blade broke off.

My Further Investigation

The propeller seemed pretty sturdy (solid cast metal, almost 1/2" thick towards the center) and went pretty far into the wall. Thank goodness it didn't hit anybody, because it could have done some damage. The people I spoke with weren't very happy with the artist for inadequately securing the propeller.

This morning, as I biked to the Auto Show protest, I met a man who told me that the artist wasn't finished when this happened. Apparently he was deciding what propeller to use and went to get a drink. In the meantime someone hopped up and started pedalling to cause the propeller malfunction. Later, a newcomer arrived and immediately hopped up and began slowly pedalling (the boomrang was lightly attached). I quickly told him to stop. He did but snidely responded, "oh the art is only to look at." We explained the situation and he eagerly jumped down.

The behavior of these two men seems weird. It isn't quickly apparent what will happen once you pedal it. The second man certainly didn't clear the area of other people--a full revolution would have hit people. I just can't imagine assuming that it was OK for me to hop up and start pedalling this contraption unless I knew what it would do and that it was appropriate. By this time everyone at the party knew what had happened, so certainly had he asked he would have been told not to pedal it. Odd. But, nobody was hurt, so it's not too big of a deal. However, had someone been hit by the propeller, the artist certainly could have been liable for leaving an uncompleted, dangerous 'attractive nuisance' unsupervised & without warning. This sucks, because everybody there was an adult and should think before they act.

Me & Alex aka Bikefreeek (he is a sweetie, and super-cool!)

Most of the night was fun, but like New Year's Eve there was some unwanted boy attention. Damn it. I like dressing up for fun events, but I don't like that this seems to be an open invitation for getting hit on. Knock it off boys. It's only lipstick, get over it and learn to read women's signals better. I don't know how men can think that I am interested in them when I keep leaving our conversations to speak with someone else. grrrr. At the end of the night there were two guys obviously hanging around waiting for me to leave and I was dreading getting approached while unlocking my bike with a stammering, "I had a really great time talking with you tonight, and I was wondering, if, wanted to hang out sometime,, go for a ride...or continue our conversations.....or....umm......" Ick. ick. Ick. The two boys cancelled each other out though, and although they both followed me outside, they didn't have the balls to initiate this awkward scenario with the other boy present. Score! I nicely said goodbye to both of them and fled. tehehe.

Even though it worked out fine, it somewhat soured the evening. I don't automatically assume that if a boy speaks to me that he is interested or attracted to me. Having a lot in common and being able to laugh a lot or have good conversations are necessary but not sufficient indicators of attraction. I look for other signals and try to read men's body language. Why is this so difficult for many men? When I realize that a boy whom I am not interested in seems to show interest--I make sure that my signals are clear. I maintain a physical distance, keep the laughing minimal and avoid any sort of behavior that may be interpeted as flirty or encouraging. If this doesn't make an impression, then my growing uneasiness makes me even more stiff and reserved. How in the world can this be interpretted positively by these boys? It is really mind-boggling.

I really don't want to stop dressing up because I think it is fun. This type of awkward attention makes me reconsider. I feel like I have mastered the art of biking in dress-up clothes. It would therefore be very sad that biking couldn't cramp my style but biking boys may. double-grrr.


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