There have been a number of good Lounge Against the Machine completions already. And yet, no one had slept in or on a government building. So DC0 planned a little slumber party on the steps of the capitol building; beforehand, we'd each nap on a different government building in the area.
Then...it got a little bigger.
Seeing as how the limit on the task was 28* people, what if we could put together a countrywide nap? No, why think small: a worldwide nap! Thus, the idea for the Nap Map was born...and across the world, we lounged against the machines. This is no time for singular behavior--in this time of Revolution, this is worldwide action! These are our places. These are our stories.
*Footnote: you might remember the upper limit on thus task as having previously been 25 people. perhaps that is because you are tired. Clearly, 28 is appropriate because it echoes Joel 2:28, with its references to dreaming and visions.
Spidere To prepare, I intentionally deprived myself of sleep for several nights, and stayed up all night the night before (being productive, but with no particular need for sleeplessness). I knew it would be cold, and hard, and I wanted to give myself the best possible chance of actually sleeping. I came prepared in pajamas, with pillow, sleeping bag...and, of course, teddy bear.
After wandering around with Eccoglyph, taking posed photos at various government buildings, we ended up at the Museum of the American Indian. A great building...a great place for a nap; the night was dark, the fountain was off, so I was able to clamber up onto and into it, with a good position for sleeping. This was the only place I actually fell asleep, but it was actually remarkably refreshing. After a harrowing first 10 or 15 minutes when every crunch of gravel or helicopter overhead sounded like the Capitol Police coming to get me (that sensation that makes me think of Charlie Fish, heart beating with the thrill of the Drive), I relaxed under Eccoglyph's watchful eye and dozed off. I dreamt (briefly) of SF0, and of games that transformed into one other...until I was eventually roused, half an hour later, and the night continued...
Predictably, it turns out that in my weakened state, out in the cold, I made myself terribly sick for days afterwards...a battle scar, if you will, of my lounging against the machine.
FZ! I have a gift. A gift for sleeping. I've slept in cramped backseats, in crowded hallways, and on uncomfortable surfaces. Like a narcoleptic rat, if I can wedge my head into someplace, I can sleep in it. It's a power I try to use only for the good of mankind, but more often than not, end up using only for the good of sleep.
So when we in the DC0 contingent decided to sleep against our oppressors, I was ready and eager to serve the cause. We were skulking through nighttime DC, the day after visitors for the mid-east peace talks had been in town, so while we were sleeping, the streets were full of police and other security figures who were wide awake, and not in the most relaxed of moods.
But even so, when we passed the Fountain of Neptune at the Library of Congress, and saw that it was empty for the Winter, I knew what I had to do.
And that's how I slept with the fishes. Or, at least, with the frog.
rongo rongo My first concern was that many government buildings are closed during the times that I would be able to go sleep in them. Although I have certainly accidentally slept in government buildings in the past, in the course of work or so forth, doing it during my leisure time would prove more difficult. And so, how to choose a building? Something that looks most official? Or has the best napping spots? Most soporific? And, who could I convince to do the photographing?
When I googled for "government building" and Somerville, I found an interesting article about how a dark-skinned homeless person caused a terrorism panic by standing near a government building. Though many state and city buildings exist near Boston, this was the only one that had been officially labeled as a "government building" by the Internet. When I found out that a local chess club and go club both also meet in the building, I figured it would be a great place to go sleep. My friend Moussie agreed to come along, even though he was a little nervous that we might start another terrorist panic if someone saw us taking pictures around a government building and trying to sleep in it. I pointed out that since he's white and I'm wearing a cute hat, hopefully we'll get a free pass. Also, it was decided that he would take a picture and then leave me to do the sleeping part by myself, since it wouldn't require assistance.
After scoping out the building, I decided to lie on this desk in the basement so as not to alarm anyone who might become alarmed seeing a body on the floor. (I once unintentionally frightened the cleaning staff by sleeping on the floor of my office after work one day. I guess they thought they found a body.) Although I stayed for 30 minutes, I didn't sleep much. But, it was interesting that although probably a dozen people walked by, no one asked what I was doing or tried to make me leave. One guy actually sat down right near me and ate his lunch while making a phone call. A few kids ran past, some speaking foreign languages. Possibly, I was camouflaged by a chess club tournament going on which brought a number of other nerdy looking people to the building. Maybe if the homeless person had looked like they might want to play chess, it would have been ok for them too, but maybe not. Overall, this was not the best sleeping I've ever done in a government building, but it was a fine way to spend part of an afternoon. JJason: So I, Quincy Potts, and Peter Harmon went to our local library for a little shut eye. Agent 14 came along too but he didn't sleep since he's eternally vigilant. Being college students and it being the heart of finals, we were all extremely sleep deprived and so immediately fell asleep. While I slumbered Agent Fourteen conspired to kill me - that bastard. Lincoln: When I first read this task, I only thought of work, and disrupting work, which I think is a great idea. But I don't really work anywhere, so I couldn't do that. Not really. But there is that bit about sleeping in or on a government building, and I thought, I could totally do that, but I would take the "on" part because it seemed harder and more awesome. When I had the time of course. And my first thought was sleeping on the roof of City Hall, which I knew would be very very difficult, but it might be worth a shot. I mean, what's a little jail time weighed against a really awesome task completion? But I kept my mind open for other possibilities, but it was always going to be City Hall in my heart.
Then I get the message from Senator Spidere, and now I have to do it in a week which is going to be very very difficult as I have been working 16 hour days lately, and getting the time to go to City Hall and get up on it without any reconnaissance and then to work the next day would be rough. So I started thinking smaller. I thought about government buildings out here where I live, and thought for sure it would have to be the post office. It's close and wouldn't be too hard to manage, and still be pretty awesome, although a little less risky.
And then there was a Revolution which made me rethink my idea of the post office. I had to complete this task as only a member of the UofA could. And there was only one place for it. The museum. I chose the California ScienCenter as my museum of choice. I could have gone to the MOCA or LACMA but dismissed those two ideas as being too far and too hard to park my car over night. I knew The California ScienCenter was right next to USC, and relatively close to my theater where I was going to be on Friday night, so that was the place for it.
So as soon as I pull into the parking lot, the first thing I notice is the very large number of police cars milling about. This isn't going to be easy.
I tried to take photos of the roving police patrol cars, but it was very dark, and not wanting to use my flash and having a very long exposure time on my camera and not wanting to stop for very long to get a good long still shot, I chose to just tell you fine people about it rather than have photographic proof (you'll find that throughout this task I took much fewer photos than I would have liked, I hope the photos I did take suffice).
While walking around the museum looking for an adequate slumber situation, I managed to get a photo of this cool art piece that is right in front of the main doors, which is a thousand tiny balls all suspended in a giant circle.
And while taking the photo I noticed the ticket booth to the museum. It had one of those built in covered awnings. I thought that seemed like a perfect place to catch my Zs for this task.
So I clamored up onto the top, hoping to lie down and hide behind the giant letters that stuck up from the overhang letting all visitors know that this was, in fact, the California ScienCenter. Except that the roof of the overhang was glass, and while fairly certain that it would support my weight, I decided to crash out on the little raised ledge behind it. And counting on the fortune that I decided to wear what has become my tasking suit, which is all black, and that I would blend in to the shadows enough that I wouldn't be detected.
That right there is one of only three photos I dared take with a flash. One of the others was of the back of the sign, so you all could see that I was up there on the dirty ledge.
Because the ones I took without a flash weren't all that great.
Although the one of the dirty ledge itself came out quite nicely.
The last photo I took with a flash was after a patrol car came through and left and was right before I went to sleep.
I'm sorry there are no more photos but mostly because of my exposed position I decided that words would have to suffice for the holes in the photos for this task. It was cold, but not too terribly. I found myself pretty comfortable up there. I brought a burrito from El Gran Burrito but not my water, so was a little thirsty, I brought my camera and my phone thinking that if I got bored or couldn't go to sleep I could call somebody or fuck off on the interweb. But I needn't have worried, as I was pretty tired and didn't have much trouble getting to sleep. There were a surprising number of people walking around that I noticed from my perch. There's a narrow walkway between the museum and the Los Angeles Memorial Colosseum, which is right about where I was camped out, and it was a popular shortcut for many USC students.
But even with the people walking around, and the cops on constant patrol, I found myself getting drowsy and drifted right off to sleep with no trouble. I managed this shot before falling off to sleep.
I was awakened at 4:00am by some shouting and screaming and drunken carrying on nearby. I never managed to see who was doing the rabble-rousing, but I did notice that it was very cold and that it had rained a little bit while I was asleep. And while I had fully intended to sleep through the night and get photos of the landscape in the morning and try to negotiate getting down and away without being seen, my desire for warmth and dry forced me down and out of there at 4:00am. So I did manage to sleep, thus fulfilling the letter of the task, I didn't make it to my personal goal of seeing the sun rise. I looked at the live weather and saw that it was 44° out and that was enough to make up my mind to get into my warm bed.
Emily: Though it's admittedly not the most daring location to sleep in, I consider my nap in the library a moral victory. One thing I have consistently found deficient since starting at the U of A (um, that is, the University of Amsterdam) is the libraries. In college, libraries were friendly places with lots of comfortable chairs, where you were happy to come between classes to study, read a book, and yes, fall asleep. But no longer! The university libraries here are stark, impersonal, and contain only hard wooden chairs. Have students here never had the pleasure of falling asleep in the middle of reading a boring textbook? How I pity them! Fortunately for all, the central branch of the public library has just reopened following extensive renovations, and alongside the hundreds of standard-issue hard-backed desk chairs they have seen fit to include four (count them, four!) gigantic purple armchairs. I am proud to demonstrate to the people of Amsterdam how these chairs are meant to be appreciated. Lank: I was in Los Angeles and had nothing better to do, so I lounged around downtown. Got some needed rest. First, in front of the Federal Building:
Which I wondered about because... what do they do there? Things Federal, I assume. Then I hit the snooze button on the United States Court House:
And finally, LA's majestic City Hall building. Built in 1928, this was the tallest building in Los Angeles until the early sixties, when the city changed its regulations and skyscrapers started springing up. It's pretty:
Surprisingly, no one bothered me in any of these places, even though cop cars roam these streets incessantly. I wasn't doing anything wrong, I guess. Just sleepin', officer!
The Chicago Cultural Center is where the Chicagø government governs culture:
GYØ spent a lazy lunchtime dozing on the steps of their English department. Government schools for the win! Loki:
Loki posed while pretending to sleep, then safely stowed the camera and slept for real. The seat of government from 1909 to 1977, this building now houses the school district administration and city council meeting chambers. Burn Unit: I can sleep anywhere, at almost any time, under almost any conditions. It's like my super power. So getting to sleep was never going to be an issue. With my busy schedule, it turns out getting to a government building was. Thanks to that busy schedule, however, I did have to go through one government building: Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport, which is governed by the Metropolitan Airports Commission and funded by the Minnesota legislature. I rode to the airport on the LRT where I built up a good deal of "sleep momentum" by napping on the train (and having the first in a series of lucid dreams, soon to be posted elsewhere!) (and really, what is the train in Minneapolis but a government building on rails? Well, perhaps that's a mere technicality). I awoke in the bowels of the Lindbergh Terminal stop of the LRT and trouped up to await my flight. Once positioned at the gate, I took a short nap until they called us. I repeated this procedure in Boston Logan on the return trip, where I had a little less time for my nap owing to the long time spent in security line. Regrettably the only pictures I have that turned out were a) my point of view waking up on the train (we were pulling out of the Veterans Administration stop at the time so that ought to count for something) whereupon I immediately snapped the picture and drifted back into my doze; and b) a shot of the weird little piece of paper a TSA agent handed me that read in part "please carry this time stamped card and help us determine how long it takes to get through the line. You have been selected because you are the last person in line." It took 14 minutes, by the way, and the TSA guy said that "wasn't very good." This extra time made my nap shorter than it could have been. I don't have pictures of me doing the actual napping because I traveled alone. But I slept in solidarity with my fellow players, that I assure you!