Sunday, July 18, 2010

THE READING/LONDON ROUND-UP, ONE YEAR LATER (Part Two)

Erstwhile housemate Rob found this prime specimen at Jackson's Corner in Reading when returning from London on March 6th.

My pal Parker and I somehow became blood-giving buddies at the beginning of last year, when we realized we had a mutual love for platelet donation and the inevitably subsequent tea and prepackaged cookies. On March 8th, Parker informed me that a blood drive was once again taking place in the Reading SportsPark (i.e. BG Mecca), so I gladly accompanied him. Upon our arrival, however, the blood-people told us that the drive was fully booked, so we walked dejectedly back to the middle of campus... but not before I saw yet another weary soul nearing the end of its pilgrimage.

The next day, Daniel's brother (who'd been in London helping him with his exhibition) came to Reading. I'd been in the library, and I met them outside the Palmer building so we could go to my house together and make a truckload of spaghetti. (Said spaghetti leftovers overstayed their welcome in my fridge after I forgot about them, and even thinking about them now, all slick and turquoise and oily, makes me feel a little queasy.) Outside the union building, they pounced on a glove.

EDIT: I miss this.

I don't seem to have found any more gloves until April 10th, which is odd, but I'll trawl my phone to see if there've been any pictures I forgot about. On the 10th, Daniel and I were at the Reading Homebase trying to find a suitable houseplant. He finally settled on a maidenhair fern that he named Ferris (Ferris died about a month later). The BG and "BG" (it was too fortuitous to pass up) that I found were both right outside, near the Bel and Dragon pub:



EDIT: I miss this too.
Nobody's really going to read this, are they? It's scary and all that I'm about to catapult my angst into cyberspace and onto the screens of whomever might be muddling through this at some point in the far future, but what hasn't been said by a bajillion other people already? Breakups suck. They truly do. It's like making a grilled cheese sandwich and then being forced to peel apart the two pieces of bread that have been so carefully toasted, and then there are crumbs and stringy strands of melted cheddar (or gouda, or feta*, or Muenster or what have you) scattered all over the place and it's just so damned messy and unappetizing.


*I KNOW you'd never make a grilled cheese with feta. I know my cheese. It was just a dumb analogy.

THE READING/LONDON ROUND-UP, ONE YEAR LATER (Part One)

I know.
It's been too long.
I'm going to keep most of these captions as short and sweet as possible so that I can get to the most recent photos from London
(where I live now
because I'm doing that MA that I applied for
and it's blowing my mind a little bit).

Here goes nothing on an empty stomach, as my mom always says (not entirely true. My stomach is full of coffee and crystallized ginger):



I spent four Fridays throughout last February and March doing work experience at Breast Cancer Care, a London-based charity near the Tate Modern. The circumstances under which I obtained this work experience were rather far-fetched: the (now) ex-boyfriend of the sister of a friend of my (now) ex-boyfriend's brother

...here, for those of you who don't know me personally, I suppose I should mention that the (now) ex-boyfriend is the oft-referenced Daniel of previous posts. (It's actually December 19th, but for continuity's sake I'm going to stick this one somewhere in July.) I highly doubt he'll read this, and I'm not really down with Internet etiquette regarding the proper handling of breakups, but I can't think that this slight aside would cause any harm, seeing as it'll explain his sudden disappearance from future captions. Does this have any relevance to black gloves? I guess not, but it's weird to look back on these photos and remember the exact circumstances surrounding the discovery of a glove. In a way, all these photos helped me to form a sort of topographical map of Reading, and so many times I was with him, or going to meet him, or leaving his house or wherever we'd been together - we were constantly walking around discovering nooks and crannies of the town - that even though he wasn't an active participant in the BGP (in fact, I don't think he really understood it), it'll still be odd knowing he won't likely appear in any more of them.
No more sap! Anyway...

...worked in the editorial department there, proofreading pamphlets and newsletters among other tasks. As an English lit graduate himself, he was more than happy to help me out, and I ended up having a blast. If the opportunity arises, I'd love to work in a charity at some point - everyone was ridiculously friendly, and it was great to know that everything was done to help women with breast cancer and their families, not just to make products more appealing and desirable.
I found this pair across the street from Southwark tube station on February 19th. Frost had forced the glove in the foreground to give me a raggedy thumbs-up. I can't help but think that whoever lost them had been rummaging in a bag, maybe searching for an Oyster card, causing them to escape one at a time.

When I returned to Reading that night, I went to Marks & Spencer for a reason I cannot recall. This fingerless glove-sleeve thing (yeah, all right, I'm getting even MORE lax in my requirements) was atop a shelf there:


Two days later, I was with Daniel. I can't remember where we were headed, but we must have hit up Pau Brasil for a toasted cheese, tomato, and oregano sandwich, because he's holding one in one of those little wax bags they used. I do remember his mom called, and he stopped to talk to her while I caught this glove in a parking lot off Whitley:


The same day, probably within a few miles of us, devoted glovehunter Izzy found an especially well-placed one. I should really give this one its own post and entitle it "The Crotch Shot":


On March 5th - I think that was the day that Daniel's exhibition opened - I spotted this one outside Liverpool Street tube station and was nearly trampled trying to get a non-blurry photo of it. Wait, that can't be right, because I know Daniel was there when I took it (he was impatient) and we didn't go to his exhibition together; he was already at the venue. Oh, I don't know. This one gave me a thumbs-up as well.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Dugong

Azar and I spent most of the day in the library doing nothing related to our respective dissertations. Actually, I think she did a fair amount, but I kept watching videos of dugongs on YouTube. I caught sight of this sodden specimen in the grass to the side of the Biological Sciences building as we walked to her house via the Coop for dinner:

Being completely dark outside and downpouring to boot, it looked more like something out of Poltergeist than the world's greatest sight, so Azar and I deemed it necessary to pluck it from its resting place and artfully drape it over a nearby, well-lit rail:

Voilà!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Art Historian

As if I hadn't had enough of a glove-filled few hours, I returned to campus for a meeting with my dissertation* supervisor and found what may be the most EPIC (and I don't use that word lightly) of glove locations: underneath some sort of classical cherub by the History of Art and Architecture department in HumSS. I heard a veritable stampede of footsteps approaching as I fumbled with my camera and managed to get two decent pictures just as a whole horde of prospective students led by a tour guide burst through the doors at the end of the corridor. I slunk sheepishly by them- honestly, if a few of them decide not to go to Reading solely out of fear of the creepy girl lurking and taking photographs of seemingly nothing, I wouldn't be surprised. 

At any rate (sorry about the first one, I had to do some funky stuff with the brightness and contrast to make the glove visible, although I turned the figure into some sort of glowing transcendental Buddha in the meantime):



*BLAH, which I'm supposed to be working on right now. I can't believe I'm updating the BGP in the library... procrastination in its highest form.

The Sea Lion


Yes, this is STILL the 17th of February. I accompanied Daniel to a post office in the middle of nowhere to pick up a package of Greek sweets from his mom. We got lost about eighteen times and had to ask numerous people for directions, including a man in the most tawdry convenience store I've ever had the pleasure of entering. Everything was covered in dust, especially Ziploc bags of single hairbands that were at least 15 years old and stapled to a piece of cardboard dangling from the ceiling.
Anyway, we finally figured out more or less where we were going (although we would still have to ask two more men before we reached our destination) and I spotted this salty sea-dog in the parking lot of a completely deserted industrial park. 

The Never-Ending Slew of Gloves on the Path by the SportsPark

Will they NEVER STOP!?!?  First, walking back from an anti-Valentine's Day party in the wee hours of the 12th, I spotted this lil' darling with Sophie (she does not actually look like this in real life. Apparently there is nothing more unromantic and anti-Valentine's than an emo):
Then, on the 17th, with the previous glove still moldering away by a fence, I spotted these two within about a minute of each other:





Seriously, IT IS A VORTEX.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Triumphant Mitten


After over a month of freaking out and dashing to and fro and gathering transcripts and rewriting CVs and coordinating references and trying to figure out some exciting beginning to a personal statement, I had finally submitted my application to do an MA in Material and Visual Culture at UCL. I mentioned the BGP in my personal statement (it's pretty much the epitome of material and visual culture, no?), so if any admissions officers are reading this: Hello, please accept me. 
I left the library in a state of giddy elation. Not two minutes later, I spied this mitten in the parking lot by Whiteknights House. I don't consider myself superstitious, but I hope this is some form of sign... although since it's a mitten, who knows what it could signify? Perhaps I won't get accepted at UCL, but some equally exciting opportunity will come along. After all, I always wear mittens, not gloves.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Hail's Angel


As I was walking down Whitley once again with Daniel, it freakishly started to hail. I'm pleased that I managed to catch this twisted sister with tiny hailstones intact on her fingers. 

The Picture of Modesty


The overriding law of this whole thing, I've found, is that as soon as you start thinking, "I haven't seen a glove in a while," -
BOOM, one's splayed right in front of you, practically blocking your path. This was on Christchurch Road as I was once again walking to Daniel's house.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Death Row


I'd heard rumors of this thrilling trio, on a fence at the other end of my road, from Athamos, but didn't see it myself until I'd already walked by it once. As I'd recently discovered that a Norwegian waffle iron belonging to my last-year's-housemate (and ardent black glover) Azar had been left behind in my house, I wanted to put it to good use. Thus, Daniel and I dashed to Premier to get some eggs, Nutella, and ice cream, and lo and behold, on the way back these three finally revealed themselves! (Of course Daniel had to pick the black one up and fling it around for a while before I could retrieve it and photograph it.)
Oh, and then it turned out that because the waffle maker was Norwegian, we didn't have the correct plug converter. I tried to see if it would work in the bathroom shaver-plug, accompanied by shrieks of "Don't get electrocuted!" from various housemates, but it didn't. Also, it was covered with mysterious short black hairs. We ended up making pancakes instead. Triple fail. 

The One-Woman Show of Ursula Martinez


Becky and I were walking back from the library, I did my customary squeal-jump-point-and-shoot, and we continued on. This was lying near a ticket from the Barbican, dated the day before, for an event entitled "Ursula Martinez: My Stories, Your Emails." I couldn't really fit the ticket in the picture without compromising the glove's entirety or Becky's patience, but obviously I had to go home and Google who Ursula was and why she was at the Barbican. Perhaps the glove and its owner were in the audience. 

The Shell



My new phone was introduced to the wonders of glove documentation with this lovely though slightly angry-looking fellow, whom I found scowling on a ledge outside the Black Horse House on Whiteknights campus. Is it too much of a stretch to say that this one resembles one of the shells in the University of Reading's crest? Why the shells, anyway? And what kind of flower is that? 

Monday, February 01, 2010

The Contortionist

I asked my housemate Athamos where he spotted this intriguing, four-fingered friend and he mumbled through a mouthful of bread, "I think I just found it walking... murfphh. Campus... ugmgm, bridge." 

The Metamorphosis


Aaron also discovered this butterfly-emblazoned glove on a wall along Crescent Road.

The Foodie


Dedicated glovester Aaron espied this seal-like specimen creeping along the snack racks of a Sainsbury's in London.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Crumb-y Morning


Zoe does illustration under the name mmmbiscuits (she doesn't update her website that often, but all four of you can check out some of her stuff here - Zoe, if you're reading this, I hope you don't mind) so, naturally, she calls her five-year-old son Crumb. When I left their house post-babysitting, he was watching me, completely befuddled, out of his living room window a few houses away, which I didn't realize until after I'd taken this picture and looked up. Fearing he'd tell his mom I was some kind of freak, I went back and held my phone up to the window, yelling, "I found a glove!" He chortled. 

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Trek to Zoe's


It can hardly be considered a trek, as my friend Zoe lives about five minutes from me - downhill, at that - but I was going to babysit her fabulous five-year-old overnight and was lugging my laptop bag full of dissertation crap, a plastic bag containing my pajamas, toothbrush, etc. (because I'm one of those freaks who has to brush their teeth EVERY NIGHT, regardless of where I am- the horror!), and a tinfoil-covered plate of six chocolate cupcakes I'd just baked. Extracting my phone from my purse was quite a maneuver, as well as evading the puzzled glances of a passing Chinese* couple... but I managed. This was near the entrance to "After the Accident" on Wokingham Road.

*They may not have been actually Chinese. 

THE POINT AT WHICH I REALIZE I AM SLOWLY GOING INSANE!!!!!

I found two gloves within twenty feet outside of the Palmer building and took a video of them. I do not know why I felt compelled to do this. My voice in the video sounds extremely nervous and neurotic; I am giggling like a mofo; I made Becky walk next to me so I didn't appear to be filming the ground and chattering to myself. Is this an addiction? Somehow I don't think there's a chapter of Black Glovers Anonymous in the Reading area.
video
I also got a still shot of each glove for maximum analysis:

1.



2.

The Eugenie Danglars


Oh, my goodness, I want to reread The Count of Monte Cristo so ridiculously badly right now. This is the world's stupidest name (because the glove's dangling, get it?) but it's also the world's worst picture, so I'm hoping they'll cancel each other out for the most part. It's been hanging outside HumSS for at least a week now. Maybe people are afraid to disturb it, considering it to be some form of conceptual art.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The One That "Made Us Late"


I don't know how to convince my pal Becky that this project isn't pretentious. She can't understand it, and I think her distaste was cemented as she stood beside me, hopping with impatience, as I unearthed my phone from my bag to take this photo early on a Wednesday morning. 
"We're already running late for our seminar!" she yelped. "When you put this on your blog or whatever, you'd better call it 'The One that Made Us Late!'"
Oh, Becky, it's the least I can do. I'm hoping you'll experience some sort of revelation, as right now you equate the BGP with clapping your hands if you believe in fairies.

(Also: this is navy blue and a mitten. My fervency is making me increasingly lax in my regulations. Very early on the following Sunday, as my housemates and I were walking back from a party, I ran ahead of them, tore it from its precarious post, hid behind some bushes and threw it at them. Ever since then, I keep seeing it in different spots in the vicinity of Wessex Hall.)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Song About Black Gloves

Daniel would bludgeon me with a frozen pizza if he knew I was getting all sappy and mentioning this, but he introduced me to the Icelandic band Seabear* on the day we met (and I went home and listened to them and knew he was Kwality with a kapital K)... AND ONE OF THEIR SONGS FEATURES A PAIR OF LOST (kind of) BLACK GLOVES. 
0:24 here.
Also, the girl in the shawl= TOTALLY me when I was her age, only I would dance around with Harry Bears, my baby blanket. 

*I hasten to admit that (at least for me) they're tolerated only in relatively small doses, as the topics of their songs fall mostly into three categories: birds, scarecrows, and being outside (AND CONSEQUENTLY SEEING BIRDS AND SCARECROWS ARGH)

The Man on the Moon

Norwegian Correspondent Janne came across this bedraggled glove in a park in Oslo.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Repeat Offenders


Remember our friends from the inside of HUMMS all the way back from last year? Maybe, if you're a ridiculous diehard. If not, suffice it to say that the ledge of the window inside the English-wing entrance of HUMMS is another vortex for black gloves. 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Walk to Daniel's House

Sunday, January 17:
I'm at the library working on my dissertation. Nobody cares, I know, but listening to the Beach Boys, drinking tea (with milk and 1 brown sugar), and annotating endless poems by e.e. cummings is the closest thing to Nirvana I've experienced in a long time - not that I'd really know what Nirvana feels like. 
Anyway.
Walking to Daniel's house along the usual route (through campus and past the SportsPark area) led me right past three beauties:
WHY THE HECK IS THIS FONT BLUE
I do not care enough to change it
...

okay, actually I do.

Honestly, this parking lot has harvested more black gloves for me than any other area on the university campus, let alone the rest of the world. It's like some sort of Mecca (don't really know what's going on with all the religious references) to which the gloves, crawling like the Thing from the Addams Family, make a ritual pilgrimage. This one was sweetly and considerately shoved onto a stake. I was listening to "Avant La Bagarre" by France Gall when I took the picture, and now it and the song are inextricably linked in my mind.

Walking along again, I run into a friend who's on his way to the library. Unbeknownst to him, it shuts in five minutes, and I have to deliver the bad news. He rockets off. I then do something kind of disgusting that I hope all four of you readers won't judge me for: I see a perfectly intact white mug beneath a bush, a little muddy and leafy but none the worse for wear, and snatch it up like a hobo. Somebody would've undoubtedly thrown it away were it not for me. Gingerly clutching this talisman
THIS IS TURNING INTO A BAD NOVEL!!!!
, I look down and see, lo and behold, another glove.

It hasn't even been three minutes since I found the last one. This one must have been making its way toward the Bermuda Triangle of that parking lot.
I turn onto Christchurch and walk for about ten minutes, maybe a bit less. The mug's starting to numb my hand by this point, as I'm ironically not wearing any gloves. Right before I turn onto Daniel's road, I see a black blob on some sort of drainpipe in the street. Thinking I'm going crazy, I stop and squint and almost don't take a picture, but it's another glove; no contest.


Oh, great, now the font's black again. Black on here, anyway; I'm assuming it'll show up white on the blog page. WHAT?

Thus, I was diverted many a time on my journey. Very Brothers Grimm, I suppose. Sorry for the horrible quality of these pictures; it was getting pretty dark by that point. 

Friday, January 15, 2010

SPECIAL HOLIDAY EDITION: The Downtown Reading Round-Up (Part Two)


This was lying by the riverside immediately after we emerged from the cinema (still December 13th.)


I got off the Heathrow-Reading bus on January 9th after my customary 8-hour flight, plus 2 or so hours of extra waiting because of the snow, and immediately saw this, closely followed by Daniel (he walked up from behind me- it wasn't like my eyes immediately honed in on the glove!)

JANUARY 15TH SUPER-BLOWOUT:

Outside Sainsbury's yet again. 
Pimpin' on Kings Road.
A furry beauty next to a potted fern across from the station... and some sort of phone card Rob felt was necessary to the photo. 

SPECIAL HOLIDAY EDITION: The Downtown Reading Round-Up (Part One)

This is an act of humongous laziness, I know, rather than a SPECIAL HOLIDAY EDITION, but it would take me a few hours to disperse these all into individual posts. These were all found within a few blocks of each other, however, so I don't really feel that the integrity of the blog is compromised.
(Snort.)
I suppose, as the festive season waxes and wanes, it's only natural for a heavier layer of BGs to settle around town. People are bustling about in a state of extreme frazzle, running errands, coming unravelled, losing gloves literally left and right. I love it and could probably write some pompous journal article about lost gloves' purpose as symbols of mindless consumerism and today's horrifically elevated sense of stress in the weeks and days leading up to Christmas, etc. Who am I kidding?! I would die of boredom, and so would anyone deluded enough to start reading it. 
Oh, and guess what? I'm also too lazy to put these in any real order, so I'll just treat you to a veritable grab bag of dirty, stanky gloves.

December 13- Daniel and I were walking back in the wee hours after seeing Where the Wild Things Are. We intended to take the bus, but after seeing the next one wasn't for half an hour, we decided to walk as far as we could along the bus route until it swung by. I'd assured him that Reading's buses allowed bikes on board, having thought it standard protocol after seeing it on buses in Minneapolis, but NOPE. The true gem of a bus driver made us get off when he saw Daniel's bike, after I'd already paid my fare. Dude. It was 1 in the morning. The bus was empty. We're freezing and zonked. Give us a BREAK. 
Anyway, we saw this totally mangled specimen after we were rejected, on Kings Road by TVU.

This bad boy was RAWKING OUT on December 6th at Jackson's Corner.
December 5th, outside the Sainsbury's on Broad Street.


Also December 5th, at the entrance to Friar Street by M&S. I had to get Daniel to stop kicking it like a soccer ball and hold still with it. (P.S. Note the fanny pack- he's trying to bring them back into fashion.)

December 13th, walking back home from the cinema before our bus encounter; this was lying in squalor by the library.

Apparently it won't let me put any more photos in this post. I love you, Blogspot.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Glovesy Malone


Katt, Randolph-Macon Correspondent #2, spotted this shady character in Chicago over Christmas break. (Is it just me, or does the pinky look strangely warped, almost as if there's room for an extra finger... or a coupla bullet cartridges?