Number 300; TAKE TWO

This is my 300th post, and also my second time writing it because MY STUPID COMPUTER LOST ITS STUPID CONNECTION AFTER I WROTE A HUGE LONG THING ABOUT MY VACATION.


So, how's everything with you?

Here's my vacation, short and sweet:

The Art Institute of Chicago

Here you will find many paintings that you know, but you don't know that you know them. I did not spend as much time here as I would have liked, but I did see a great many works of art (as well as works of "art;" I'm looking at you, Jackson Pollock).

I wish I had had more time to spend in the Italian Renaissance wing, as opposed to the time I spent in the Modern and Contemporary wing; I like to look at things that don't require me to ponder man's temporal condition, or make me think beyond the surface; I like pretty pictures that don't require me to tilt my head this way and that and scrunch up my face so that it reads: Huh? The Italians knew that they just had to paint a picture of Jesus or a naked lady and people would be satisfied.

That being said, I do have to admit that I enjoyed Picasso's (and others') cubist paintings. I can sort of understand those, particularly after I examined one and figured out that cubism is really just where you break down the planes of scene into geometry. I didn't look that up in a book, so it's probably wrong, but that is my interpretation.

I liked the surrealists too, because those paintings just seem funny to me. Like Dali has this one where a guy is picking up the edge of a rubbery piano. I don't remember the name, but I do remember smiling at that painting.

Unlike this other one, in the Contemporary wing, which was a wall-sized canvas painted entirely in black, and not even in different shades of black. There was some texture, which was probably supposed to symbolize the downfall of Marxism or something, but which mostly made me do this: I don't get it.

Art is hard to grasp, sometimes, and remember when Lisa Turtle was trying to impress that student council guy, and she turned herself into a nerd and asked these questions: "What is Art? Are we Art? Is Art Art?"

Sometimes I feel I'm stuck in that conundrum, when I'm in an art museum.

On the whole, I did enjoy the Art Institute, and I would say that it is a Must-See if you go to Chicago.

The Field Museum. KING TUT!

This was, of course, the reason for my being in Chicago. The King Tut exhibit is worth every penny, if you are into that stuff. There are a lot of artifacts from tombs other than Tut's as well, including the tombs of the people who might have been his father and grandfather (his genealogy is unknown). Unfortunately, Tut's mummy is not on display, nor is his death mask, which is what most people know. Still, there is enough to satisfy even the craziest mummy-o-phile (not that I know any).

The Field Museum itself is a giant place with about a thousand permanent exhibits, most of which I skipped. Why? MUMMIES, my friends. There is an exhibit which features, among other things, twenty-three real mummies. Most of these are still wrapped, and some are still in their sarcophagus...es (sarcophagi?), but they are AWESOME.

After a while, though, I began to reflect not on the Idea of Mummies (which I love), but on the Reality of Mummies, which is that they are dead people. And I began to creep myself out, and the exhibit has very low lighting, and there are dead people everywhere, and I had to leave before they all came to life and tried to kill me.

It's really best if you watch movies about mummies, and try not to come in contact with any in real life, I think.

Six Flags.

Lesson learned: Roller coasters do not upset my stomach, but kiddie rides do. Interesting.

Another lesson learned: That stand-up roller coaster makes your head beat around on the "cushioned" head rest, and could cause, among other things, a massive headache. Or an aneurysm.

Navy Pier.

This really reminded me of going to the fair. There are a lot of places to shop, there is a lot of cotton candy, and there is a huge ferris wheel that will NOT break off its screws and roll into the lake while you are riding in it.

Wrigley Field.
The Sears Tower.
Oprah's house (hee).

I thought Chicago was great. It was clean, it felt safe, and there were tons of things to do. I do feel like it is a city that you can't fully experience in only one week; probably you'd have to go back several times in order to be satisfied that you've done everything.

1 comment:

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Can you take a bit of gentle chiding? Try writing your blog in a Word document, saving continually as you go along. Then when you're finished, you can copy and paste it into your blog. That way you'll probably never lose a single word of your precious work because of getting disconnected from the Internet. :-)


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