September 21st, 2003

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Eugene Celebration

I can NOT believe that I didn't bring my Camera with me today for my first day of partying in Eugene. It just so happens that I picked the weekend of Eugene Celebration for my trip. So there's about two to three times as many people here in Eugene and their huge ass FEST was about 30-40 times cooler than stuff that Chambana does. We have got to get some critical mass of cool stuff going on in downtown Urbana. At this fest there were like 6 stages of music all day long, there was a huge free outdoor market thing with it's own music stage that apparently happens every week. At the farmers market they have a rule that no one can sell anything they either they or their immediate relative didn't make themselves. The fest had a whole 3 blocks devotes to alternative medicine/natural health stuff. There were dozens of street theater performers scattered all over the place. The whole fest took up like 8 city blocks. And then lots of local clubs and other local businesses had their own extra stuff going it. So there was a centralized fest but then a very decentralized extended citywide party going on.

We saw these awesome belly dancers dancing with this band called Americanistan that played a combination of eastern eupopean and middle eastern instruments, african drums, and cello.

We saw cool art. I learned about the AWESOME City Repair Project. I really want to find their stuff in Portland.

I think I imbibed more omega-three fatty acids (huge plate o' calamari, hemp seed energy balls, hemp milk shake smoothie) than I ever thought possible. I'm going to be so smart. Later in the week...Sushi! It's been like 2 months since I had Sushi every day for a week...I'm finally ready to have it again!

Tonight we saw Tony Furtado and his band headline at the fest. That guy is AWESOME. I was thinking it's be so cool to have Tony Furtado, Hammel on Trial, Melissa Ferrick, and Richard Thompson all play at the same fest someday.

Last night we hung out around a big pretty fire with a bunch of quiet people who I later found out were all tripping. I'm sorry our raucous selves came in and probably ruined their quiet enjoyment of strangeness. But it was a great laid back start to the vacation. And the first food I ate in Eugene was smoked salmon made from a fish that a guy at the party had caught himself. Awesome.

Amtrak was awesome all the way to Seattle but that Cascades train from Seattle to Eugene was ASS. The seats were specifically designed to NOT RECLINE. Who rides ANYTHING for 6 hours without reclining? The worst part was that the seats had a little dummy button that SEEMED like it made the seats recline but it didn't. It looked like they'd retrofitted the seats with a device to stop them from reclining. We saw Bruce, Almighty on the train and although it was pretty lame I laughed my ass off. Stupid cheap jokes.

But I slept QUITE well on Jared and Rose's futon. Ahh to be able to lay flat! Such a luxury.

Tomorrow herbivorous is giving a big talk about herby stuff. I'm very much looking forward to it. I bought all kinds of herby things from her today. Relaxing tea, massage oil, and this crazy oil+salt+herbs scrub stuff for the shower that you mix up and rub yourself down with and it's like that Apricot Scrub stuff on CRACK. I can't wait to try it.

I bought a CD from some random chick with a guitar (Johanna) who had an AWESOME voice.

Heard a bit of a random blues band. Thought, again, about getting the balls to buy and wear a skirt but didn't find one that I liked. Maybe tomorrow. Saw some cool art at a local gallery, including a whole display of miniture books all made from single sheets of folded paper. The artist had all their friends make little mini haiku-like stories in them and encouraged the viewers to add more to the collection. Checked out Eugene's version of Prairienet.

Lots and lots of stuff absorbed today. Eugene's a cool place. Urbana will get there, I'm sure of it. We just gotta keep kicking more ass more. :)
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Sent from Eugene. Even on Vacation I'm an Activist/Organizer.

Dear Indymedia Supporter,

I wanted to make sure that you know about the upcoming membership meeting at the IMC on October 2nd.

Throughout the year hundreds of Indymedia volunteers work in both official and ad hoc working groups creating and disseminating independent media and see to the day to day needs of the IMC. In the last six months these volunteers have produced a weekly radio news program, a monthly newspaper, a bi-weekly video compilation, a monthly art gallery, dozens of all ages folk, punk, gothic, and indie rock concerts, independent film events, .zine readings, a poetry slam, independent film viewings, a major festival, and more. Our radical library, open publishing website, community web-hosting project, community wireless networking project, and production lab continue to provide valuable media resources for an ever growing pool of IMC members. Volunteers for the Capital Campaign have raised over $42,000
towards our $100,000 goal. Just this month, the IMC was one of many hosts for Girlzone.s Grrrlfest 2003, the final Girlzone event. The IMC.s finance group continues to support Indymedia projects worldwide through 501(c)3 fiscal sponsorship.

Amidst all of this amazing success, the IMC suffered a setback in May when the City of Urbana shut down the highly popular and successful IMC venue space due to previously unknown code violations. The IMC.s venue space was Champaign-Urbana.s only regular all ages non-smoking venue and featured about five performances per week until it was shut down. Our art gallery, production space, and library remain open and members are learning to work around the loss of the venue space. The IMC Shows group has continued bringing unique independent music to town at other venues (e.g. IMCfest at the Canopy Club which featured 16 bands, 2 feature films, and a .zine reading).

As you can see, IMC.s members are hard at work every day becoming the media.

Twice every year, the IMC holds a general membership meeting. At these meetings IMC members step back from their daily work and look at the big picture. The membership meeting is a visioning meeting where all the members, whether they are active volunteers or supportive community members, discuss the direction the IMC will take for the next 6 months and beyond. The membership meeting is also the only
meeting at which the IMC Structure document which governs IMC operation can be changed.

The IMC.s membership meetings are open to all and operate on a consensus basis. I have volunteered to gather Agenda Items and coordinate the calling of this meeting. If there is anything at all that you would like to have discussed at this membership meeting please contact me by email (zach@ucimc.org) or phone (217-621-6768). In order to have a well organized meeting, it is essential that you make requests for agenda items before the meeting.

Becoming the Media,
Zach Miller

PS - If you.re wondering about the strange subject line, I.m sending these letters from my vacation. I.m writing this letter from an Amtrak train somewhere in Minnesota. I.ll see you all back in Urbana on October 2!