Haiku #126 - US Space and Rocket Center

who'd have expected
a roller coaster on Mars?
kids of all ages!

Kurt and Cherie and I went to the US Space and Rocker Center this morning before the matinee.  We rode a motion-simulator ride that we expected to be an informative and exciting exploration of Mars, which turned out to be a fact-free simulated Martian roller coaster.  We looked at rockets and airplanes, and Kurt and Cherie rode the G-force simulator.  We didn't have time to check it out very thoroughly, but it was fun.  And it was nerdily amusing to say we were at the space museum waiting for a shuttle (even if it was just the hotel shuttle).  

Haiku #93 - Lower East Side Tenement Museum

Beer: Making life tolerable for generations of immigrants
(across the street from the museum)
escaping hardship
maybe wishing to sow a 
pocketful of dreams

Mom really wanted to go to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum.  I offered to show her around my building for free, but apparently she wanted to see a "real" tenement, so she booked us tickets on the tour of garment workers' apartments. Longtime readers will know of my tenuous relationship with museums, but I'm happy to report that this one was really fascinating, and our tour guide was great.  Also interesting to note how some things (housing and labor laws, immigrants' countries of origin) have changed, and how other things (human nature, corruption, hope of a better life for one's children) haven't.  

And they had a good gift shop!

Just a Glance; or, An Hour at the Met

Finally had a little time to get up through the instrumental section of "Hard Times" today, after exploring Central Park and the Met with my cousin, and meeting her other friends for brunch (complete with mimosas and a dimwitted, surly hostess).  My goal: get through the first three sections of the song without worrying if they were perfect.

Have been getting hung up on perfectionism again, which makes me not want to practice at all, but rather wallow in my belief at how great it would be to be able to play like that, which surely I could do it if I just tried.  I affirmed my hunch that the fills in the second verse are much the same as the second verse, noodled my way through the instrumental section.  I was just finding a stopping point when my cousin returned.

My imperfect but productive session today was inspired, if not by the mimosas, then by our trip to the Met: my cousin and I were both dragged through museums as children - dragged slowly, while our respective parents took in EVERY MORSEL OF INFORMATION in the building.

"Mom, I'll be in the gift shop," I would say to my mom after about 55 minutes of well-behaved tedium.

"Mmm-hmm ok honey," she would respond, her eyes not leaving the information plaque she was reading.

Consequently, my cousin and I both evolved brain synapses that fuse after about an hour in any museum.  The attention span we do possess, we prefer to spend by walking at a moderate speed, making cracks about the things we see.  Today, we made up bawdy alternate titles for paintings and decided that the Romans used ornate marble bathtubs which they repurposed as sarcophagi at the end of life (matching lids, half off!).  Sure enough, after an hour, we grew quiet and pensive, our brains turning into culturally overstimulated mush.  Time to get out of there.

You may think that we don't appreciate art.  Other museum visitors who heard us giggling our way through the 19th Century European paintings almost certainly thought so.  I assure you, that's not the case - art adds so much joy and silliness to our lives - why should we have to plod through and take it all so seriously?