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Monday, May 29, 2006

May 29: The Eiffel Tower

Okay I am in a really, really long line for my trip up the Eiffel Tower. There's really nothing else to do now, this is the perfect time to blog. For the first time I feel like an Official Tourist. One thing I am learning is that "some people" have no regard for personal space. This line is pretty tight for an American. Yep, I'm an American in Paris!

As you can imagine, people from every country in the world come here. As I stand here, I hear English (British - no Americans yet), Italian, and some languages I don't recognize. I think a few Israelis, Asians, Polish; white, black, brown, yellow. Blond, brunette, and dreadlocks! Families, couples, kids, maybe some other singles besides me but I can't tell. Everybody. Everybody.


--
I am now in a restaurant near the Tour (French for "tower") and enjoying an Amaretto on the rocks. Soon I will mow down on some chicken and fries. The tower was great: crowded and very windy, but at times the wind died down enough to hear yourself think. It was so windy I didn't want to stay up there long, but I made myself try to have a "reflective moment" and realize I was actually on top of the freakin' Eifel Tower. I took video and pics to share. I also bought a couple things - they have shops on the 2nd floor, as well as a restaurant on the 1st floor.

For the video, click here, or go to http://www.insideaudio.com/europe2006/Leslie%20Eiffel%20Clip.mov

...and for the pictures, click here.

Time to eat. See ya!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

May 26-28: Leslie in Cologne

This was an excellent trip.

The train was clean, but I couldn't get comfortable enough for a good nap. On the way I got to see Brussels, Belgium, and Aahen, Germany. The route was scenic, but I tried to keep my eyes closed most of the way.

Johann greeted me at the Köln Hauptbahnhof (HBF), and helped me check in at the Holiday Inn Express. I know this is hard to believe, but it was the nicest hotel I've been in so far. Maybe I'm just a spoiled American, but I gotta have an ice machine. This was the first one I've seen so far! ( Johann had never seen one before.) The room was much larger than the others, and maybe it just felt more familiar.

Then, we went for a walking tour of Cologne. Although it was grey and raining, I enjoyed looking around. We had tea and coffee at a café, then saw some more of the city. Later, we had delicious pizza at a nice Italian restaurant.

We decided to see X3 at 10 pm. Yes!!! This time, in German; dubbed, with no subtitles. Luckily, I knew what was going on. It was cool, cool, cool.

The next day, Johann picked me up at the hotel for a trip to a museum for an exhibit of Salvador Dali's works. It was great; there was stuff there I'd never seen before, including some of Dali's sketches. Afterwards, I got to take some video of the Dom (pronounced "Dome"), and that night we took the U-Bahn to the center of the city for some Thai food.


The Dom.

Johann picked me up again early the next morning to take me to the train station. We had a little tea and then I was off to Paris again. I owe Johann a huge "thanks" for making the trip great; picking me up and dropping me off, taking time out of his weekend for a complete stranger. It was a fantastic experience!

Want to see? Then click here.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Video - and a reminder

Here's the second video: Day 2-4

And don't forget to click the pictures in each web "album" so you can see the larger one.

To Köln tomorrow!

Acid's Adventure

"And you thought we weren't going to have any fun today."
-Ferris Bueller

I got up this morning, ready to ship myself a poster and to visit the "laverie" to do a little laundry. But everything was closed! It's Thursday, but apparently it's a holiday. I have no idea what holiday, because - as all Americans soon discover - I don't speak French.

So I took a nap. I got up at about half past who gives a rat's ass and decided to go the green square with the blue circle on it that is at the lower right-hand corner of my map.

I made a stop at Montparnasse to see if the famous skyscraper (56 stories) was open - no luck. So I proceeded to the green square.

"Gosh there are a lot of children," I thought to myself as I rode the Metro to Porte Doree. I wanted to get away from this crowd of kids so once the train stopped, I walked quickly towards the exit .

But they were following me. I walked up a hill towards where I thought the green square would be - and they were right on my tail. Then I saw it.



A big fairground. Rides, cotton candy ("barbe a papa"), beignets, pommes frites (freedom fries) and about one thousand more kids like the ones I thought I was escaping.

It started off as a "WTF?!?!" experience, but I got into it. Shooting games, big stuffed animals, the usual "come and try your luck" banter from the madames et mecs from the booths. Scary rides, kids rides, fun houses, haunted houses. Ice cream twists, waffles, crepes, hamburgers.

And waaaay on the other side was the green square - Bois de Vincennes (Vincennes Woods). And the blue circle - Lac Daumesnil. There were swans, mallards, and things I'd never seen before. People in canoes.

People in canoes?? I love canoes. But me? Alone in a canoe? And no one with a life jacket. But wait - it's me, Leslie G. Stubborn and fearless without apology. I got my ass on that boat.



It was bitchin'. I highly recommend Paris, and I super-highly recommend Paris on Daumesnil Lake in a canoe. And whatever this fair is called, it's pretty cool, too.

Did I mention free admission? Then 10 euros for the boat, 2 for the ice cream, and 5 for the fries and Sprite (it just tastes better here). Haven't NEARLY approached the fifty bucks Six Flags at Elitch's wants from us.

You can see the whole experience by clicking here.

Paris rocks. Bientot.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Post AES

So, the AES convention is over, but it was great. It was difficult to try and do everything I wanted, but now at least I know who to talk to in a variety of different areas for future research. There were papers, and demos, and great speakers (lecturers and actual loudspeakers) - I heard a demo using the Barcelona student competition winner's recording of an a cappella men's choir (or it could have been overdubbed performances in a hall - dunno). It blew me away.

I've been eating well, you can bet. I'm not too worried about a so-called "diet" because I haven't walked this much in a loooong time. My calves and shins ache! But back to the food: des pains au chocolates, pommes frites, du lemonade (tout c'est different, mais TOUT), entrecote de bifsteack, d'agneau, oh je suis á septiéme ciel!

I heard about a student who moved to Paris and never looked back - he came here to work for MOTU. Will my cajones ever be that large? I feel at home here.

Oh - and before I forget, X3 was AWESOME, it premiered here 2 days before the states. Another selling point for this city.



á bientot, ya'll.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

AES Paris

For pictures of the latest, go here (no captions this time, sorry - it's a bit time consuming)

Ok, maintenent en français. (Hint: if you don't understand French, try babelfish.altavista.com.)

Vendredi, je fuite par le Eurostar á Paris. Tres ennuit: il était en retard de demi-heure, et quand j'essayait dormir était impossible. Je n'était pas comfortable. Mmm.... ensuit, quand j'arrivait à Gare du Nord, ils announcent le remboursement de le prix de passage, mais c'était pas vrais: ils offrait seulement un billet gratuit pour un autre voyage pour Eurostar. Ok, ne m'inquiété pas. Je suis prêt avoir les bon temps à Paris!

MERDE! Le station Alesia c'est fermé! J'avait marcher - oh - presque d'un mile a l'hotel. Mais ça hotel c'est mille fois meilleur que le Brunel Hotel à Angleterre.

Okay, that took a long time to type. But my new friend Zol'si from Brussels told me he understood it, so "nyah!"

----
Sunday - I presented my paper. It went very well. I "sold out" of my 30 copies, between both the lecture and poster session. I think the "thumbs up video" was helpful in illustrating the idea, the pictures and simple explanation would not have been enough. Afterwards, I met a woman who is very interested in surroud sound radio drama. She didn't say whether "live" was a requirement. Maybe we could do one at a recording studio with Donnie.... All in the name of academia. Also, I met Jeff from DTS who shared some insight into the "drifting sync" versus "ADR sync window". Dave Mallham from York approached me for a copy of my paper, too. Oh - and Doug McKinnie took my pic - I hope to see him tomorrow. I will be too pooped to pop. Watch.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Day Four

I should mention that I am doing my blogs on my Crackberry while riding on the tube, going from place to place. Then I email them to myself and post them. What would be ideal is if the stupid thing would sync properly to Entourage, but I've got to iron out some bugs there. I am so tired of beta-testing shit for the Corporations. Honestly.

But I am having a great time!! Today I met Mike (aka Jesse) at the Apple store on Oxford St. Nice place!

.

We played a few games at Trocadero, which I discovered isn't the name of a dance club, it's the name of this huge... Sorry... HUUUGE place with shops and arcades and theaters.

We had some yogurt - and yes, I *could* believe it was yogurt, despite the name of the place. It was nice: vanilla and "cookies and cream" on a waffle with hot fudge. Shut up!!

After that, I met Rory's (aka Tails') friend Andy for a bite at a pizza and pasta place. Why doesn't the bacon at home taste like spare ribs?? Hello, I would try more things in the States if it wasn't all owned by Coke, Pepsi and whoever else. Here's to the "sophisticated palette". Anyway.



I went to see The Lion King at the Lyceum Theater. It was truly awesome! I won't soon forget it.

For more pictures of Day Four, click here

All right... off to gai Paris!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Day 2-3

9 pm -
I decided it was time to enjoy some nightlife. After all, it's only 2 pm!! (MST). So, I hopped on the bus and went to Oxford Circus/Picadilly Circus. Borders Bookstore was one of the few places open. So I went in there and discovered they had the same crap as the US stores. Boring! Although I saw a mag with a preview of X3. I had to read it - but there was a spoiler!! Aargh! So now I know one really important thing that will happen in the movie, that WOULD have been a surprise. Pooh.

Here's a picture of the Dominion theater, where the play (?) "We Will Rock You" is playing.

I continued on to another internet cafe and chatted with a few friends, and made some plans for Tuesday.

Then - bang! Look at what we have here. It's the Trocadero! Of course I went in! And ordered an Amaretto on the rocks (duh). And ran into Alberto Martinez - a grad student at UCD! DANG! Now, tell me - what are the odds???

The music was great. Ya'll know I can throw down on the dance floor, but I opted for a more subtle, funky style. Didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings out there! ;)

Back to the hotel at about 2 am (GMT). I worked on a video until 4 am (GMT). If you'd like to see it, you must have Quicktime. (www.apple.com/quicktime). Just click here. (Or go to www.insideaudio.com/europe2006/dayone.mov)


The bed was uncomfortable - I could count the springs. Added a blanket underneath and then "lights out".

May 17
Got the internet thing worked out with the hotel. Now, I'm off to Nottingham to see Indy .

By the way, I have been to London before. But some things I forgot. Like how the loo looks incredibly like a subway entrance. I mean there's a woman in a booth sitting at the entrance with two turnstyles on either side. You can't see the toilets, and you have to be very attentive to see the teensy "sinks". So I tried to put my travelcard in there and the lady is TRYING to tell me, "yew cahn't use a trayn pahss for the toy-letts!!". Keep in mind she's behind a glass, speaking with an accent, I knew she said something about a toilet but - oh, this is too embarrassing to recount.

Anyway, I did make it out of the toilet and onto the train to Nottingham (silent "h") with 5 minutes to spare. Woo-hoo!

In Nottingam, Indy took me on a walking tour of Nottingham. I took lots of pictures, and you can see them here.

You'll see the castle from where the mean old king and sherrif taxed the daylights out of the poor citizens, and where Robin Hood came to save the day. You'll see me and our hero Robin. And you'll see England's oldest and second oldest pubs!!

After a 1 1/2 hour train ride back to London, I met Ben Hadwen at Fluid where he was jamming on sazxand flute while K. spun that funky shit. Downstairs was a cool dance floor. After the hipness, I caught the last train home, and Ben and I parted ways at Baker St. What a cool day.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Day One!

Blog may 15 - 16
7:10 pm CST
Why am I on this plane? Let me rephrase that. How is it possible I am on this plane? This was one Hell of a tight connection. I had to run my ass over here: from gate C32 to C16. Big deal, you say? Well, seeing as I had 5 minutes to do it... I mean, MAYBE it was five ... No one could tell us if they would hold the flight.

About two hours ago, I was sitting at the gate in Denver. The flight had been delayed 30 minutes. I knew my connection was doomed. Originally, I only had an hour between flights. Now I just helplessly watched as that time dwindled down minute by minute. But the pilot kicked ass and flew real fast - and not too much turbulence. Not that I would have minded, I was sedated. :) Other people on that flight had even tighter connections than me. God help us victims of the airline industry. But I'm not thankless. No, just glad to be alive. Thank you, flight safety statistics. And thank you, Xanax.

May 16.
11:30 am GMT
Really, business class is the only way to fly. Filet mignon, two Amarettos on the rocks (complimentary!), a blindfold, earplugs, and a comfy blanky. Strawberry and vanilla ice cream for desert. I watched "The Matador", which was worth the money I spent (none). Funny, but once is enough. Then I was out cold from about 4 am to 9 am GMT! Woke up for two refreshing glasses of orange juice, some fruit and a croissant (microwaves should be outlawed) then another hour nap. Oh - a little advice: don't mix Xanax and alcohol. I was pretty limp and groggy when we landed. Now I just spent £20 ($40ish) for a shuttle to the hotel. I took some video along the way and I'll post it soon.

15:54 GMT
The hotel advertised in-room internet. That was a damnable lie. I am at the "Video Cafe" spending £4.99 (hello, almost 10 bucks) to let you know all these brilliant goings on. I hope I'll fare better in Paris und Köeln.

Gotta stay up today! Beat the jet lag! I'M SO TIRED...ack. Hope to make contact with Ben, Mike, and Andy. More to follow! You betcha!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Getting Ready for Europe

It's Friday morning and well... I'm not /quite/ getting ready yet. I'm at the "making a list in my head" stages, and not writing anything down, so I will forget something. But I plan on taking the video camera and notebook. One thing that's on the list that I will certainly forget is "power converters". I will be sunk without 'em! So, gotta get on that today. I just need to submit final grades, and work on my Powerpoint presentation for next Sunday's AES paper session. It's at aes.org http://www.aes.org/events/120/papers/session.cfm?code=P7. The title is "Tactile Strategies and Resources..." etc. at the bottom of the page.

All right, all you rock stars... next time you hear from me I'll be working on a plate of fish and chips!